Summit County reports 5 flu deaths, including one child, this season

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The flu outbreak is widespread in CT, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

That said, this year is starting to look like a severe season, and maybe more severe than last year, which was also bad, said Dr. Dan Jernigan, head of CDC's influenza division. More than half of those patients have been diagnosed with influenza, Central Health said Friday.

Two men and one woman died, said Karen Hacker, director of the Allegheny County Health Department.

The number of people stricken by flu continues to rise across the country, with 15,572 laboratory-confirmed cases for the season as of January 6, the Public Health Agency of Canada says. We strongly encourage people to protect themselves, particularly children 6 months and older and those people at high risk for complications related to the flu.

The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) announced eight deaths occurred this week, bringing the total number of flu-related deaths to 14 since October 1, 2017.

"Flu is everywhere in the USA right now", Jernigan said during a conference call with reporters.

However, the CDC cautions that "in recent past seasons in which A (H3N2) viruses predominated, hospitalizations and deaths were more common, and the effectiveness of the vaccine was lower". Other strains of the influenza virus, such as type B, may arise, he said.

"We know this is a very active year, but we don't know yet if it's a severe year", Jernigan said.

Health officials don't now know how effective this season's vaccines. Doctors said the issue with this year's flu is that the flu shot is only about 10 percent effective. "But, in general, all of the health care professionals are vaccinated", he said. Flu vaccinations are still available at most healthcare providers' offices and retail pharmacies. "So far, 2014-2015 had more severe indicators at this point in the season". "That happens every year".

CT is still four to six weeks out from peak flu season, but in just the last three months the state has seen more than one thousand confirmed flu cases.

More than 1,015 people have had the flu since the end of August, according to the DPH. China, Italy, Algeria, Morocco and Spain have reported regional outbreaks and Poland and the United Kingdom have also seen an uptick in positive influenza reports.

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