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Online Discussion: Tracking new emerging diseases and the next pandemic; Now tracking the new emerging SARS-like coronavirus known as the Wuhan Coronavirus in China.

The US 19-20 Flu Season

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Kilt5 View Drop Down
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    Posted: December 31 2019 at 4:27pm
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Report for the week ending 4th January 2020

Originally posted by CDC CDC wrote:

CDC estimates that so far this season there have been at least 9.7 million flu illnesses, 87,000 hospitalizations and 4,800 deaths from flu.


Also tragically the deaths of children are already at 32 so far this season, foretelling a lot of families will face more heartbreak.
For the latest weekly report
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'This is very strange': Rare early emergence of influenza B virus puts children at higher risk

Jorge L. Ortiz USA TODAY
Published 12:15 PM EST Jan 16, 2020

As an infectious disease specialist for the better part of four decades, Bernhard “Bud’’ Wiedermann has deep expertise on a range of illnesses, from malaria to Lyme disease to recurrent fevers.

This year’s flu season has thrown him a curveball, though it is thankfully one he can adjust to: A predominant influenza B virus for the first time in 27 years.

When outbreaks of the flu began earlier than usual in the fall, Wiedermann and his colleagues at Children’s National Hospital in Washington, D.C., noticed a leading cause was a virus that doesn’t typically emerge until the end of the season and is more likely to affect kids.

“All of us here when we started seeing that coming through, not only from the CDC data but from our own testing, we were like, ‘Wow, what’s going on? This is very strange,’’’ Wiedermann said.

Frightening: Flu blinds, nearly kills 4-year-old girl: 'There were no warning signs,' mom says

Though initial signs pointed to the powerful A(H3N2) strain as the biggest concern this season, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said most of the illnesses have been caused by B/Victoria viruses, followed by A(H1N1) viruses.

The impact has been particularly harsh in Louisiana, where a New Orleans pediatric care facility reported 1,268 confirmed B virus infections in children from July 31 to Nov. 21, leading to 23 hospitalizations.
Your Alexa-enabled speaker can help you find a nearby location offering the flu shot.
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Nationwide, the CDC said flu activity is high and will remain that way for weeks, although the level of severity appears lesser than in the past. For the season, the agency has tallied at least 9.7 million cases of the flu, 87,000 hospitalizations and 4,800 deaths.

More than 68% of the positive results from tests in clinical labs were linked to the influenza B virus, which had not been predominant since the 1992-93 season. Those infections have accounted for nearly half the hospitalizations reported to the CDC.

“I think there is a common misconception that influenza B viruses are associated with milder disease than flu A viruses,’’ CDC spokeswoman Kristen Nordlund said. “Influenza B viruses can cause severe illness in people of all ages, including children and adults.’’

The symptoms are the same regardless of the virus: fever in many cases, as well as a sore throat, cough, body aches, fatigue, runny or stuffy nose and headaches. But one significant difference is this year’s dominant viruses figure to impact children and young adults more than older folks.

That makes it imperative for parents to make sure their kids get a flu shot, even at this point in the season, the CDC and Wiedermann said. In past years, about 75% of the children who died from the flu weren’t fully vaccinated.

Nordlund said data showing the effectiveness of this season’s vaccine at fighting off the prevalent viruses won’t be available until late February, and preliminary indications are mixed, but she reiterated that some protection is better than none. In addition, studies have shown the effects of contracting the flu are less severe on those who are vaccinated than on those who aren’t.

The CDC and Wiedermann emphasize the flu shot is effective and highly recommended for pregnant women regardless of their trimester, and also for children six months and older, who can take antivirals like Oseltamivir (known by the brand name Tamiflu) and others as early treatment or prevention.

Wiedermann, who’s also a professor of pediatrics at George Washington University, worries about the vulnerability of unvaccinated children to a virus that’s typically not a major concern at this time of the season.

“If we have the combination of not being immunized and being young enough that they haven’t seen the natural influenza B virus that much, that means we have whole lot of kids out there who aren’t immune to this virus,’’ Wiedermann said, “so we expect a lot of them to get infected.’’
The 2019-2020 flu season has so far not been as severe as the previous two, but the number of areas reporting regional or widespread flu activity has increased over the last few weeks, according to the CDC . More than 3% of doctors visits were for flu-like illness, higher than the national baseline of 2.4% for five weeks. The flu is unpredictable and the severity of the season varies from year to year. To identify the most serious flu complications, 24/7 Tempo talked to doctors and reviewed several studies published in various medical journals. There is no cure but there are ways you can ease the symptoms. The majority of people with the flu take seven to 10 days to get healthy again, Dr. Dyan Hes, Medical Director of Gramercy Pediatrics in New York City, said. Mild complications such as body aches, dehydration and vomiting are common, but more serious health risks can develop as well. The flu can make even healthy people very sick, Hes said. You don’t have to be weak or have a pre-existing condition to suffer severe complications, she added. “It kills healthy people, too.” This is just one reason why health experts worry about people catching the flu -- along with these other infections even doctors are afraid of .diego_cervo

Published 12:15 PM EST Jan 16, 2020


Source:   https://eu.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2020/01/15/flu-season-kids-higher-risk-early-emergence-b-virus/4484266002/
Absence of proof is not proof of absence.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jacksdad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 16 2020 at 10:05am
Coronaviruses and influenza B? Didn't see those coming

"Buy it cheap. Stack it deep"
"Any community that fails to prepare, with the expectation that the federal government will come to the rescue, will be tragically wrong." Michael Leavitt, HHS Secretary.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote carbon20 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 16 2020 at 1:59pm
Mmmmmm left field....

Just have to keep watching....

And stay Aware....
12 Monkeys...............
1995 ‧ Science fiction film/Thriller ‧ 2h 11m a must for AFT
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for Week 2, ending January 11, 2020
Originally posted by CDC CDC wrote:

Key indicators that track flu activity declined slightly but remain high. Indicators that track severity (hospitalizations and deaths) are not high at this point in the season.

Outpatient ILI and laboratory data remain elevated but declined slightly this week. While the overall percent of specimens positive for influenza declined nationally, the percent positive for influenza A viruses increased and some regions are seeing increases in the proportion of influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 viruses compared to other influenza viruses. It is too early to know whether the season has peaked or if flu activity will increase again.

Levels of outpatient ILI remain elevated; however, hospitalization rates remain similar to what has been seen at this time during recent seasons and mortality, while increasing, has not yet exceeded the epidemic threshold.

CDC estimates that so far this season there have been at least 13 million flu illnesses, 120,000 hospitalizations and 6,600 deaths from flu.


While overall death rates may be lower than normal, the child deaths are way up (already passing the low figure of the 2011-12 season).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 18 2020 at 3:07pm
GOOD NEWS FOR A CHANGE

Flu activity is declining after the virus killed 39 children this season


Flu activity in the U.S. dropped for a second consecutive week, the most recent drop declining in the week ending Jan. 11.
Friday, January 17th 2020, 4:17 PM EST
Updated: Friday, January 17th 2020, 4:21 PM EST

CNN) -- Flu activity in the U.S. dropped for a second consecutive week, the most recent drop declining in the week ending Jan. 11, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

While the dips were intense, flu season is not necessarily past its peak. Even though flu activity is decreasing, "we're still at pretty high levels right now," said Lynnette Brammer, team lead of the CDC's domestic influenza surveillance team.

The virus is still present in every state, with high levels of activity in 32 states. While overall numbers have dropped, the latest data has shown a strain of virus, influenza A, as increasing, which could lead to a second wave of flu infections, Brammer said.

Flu vaccines are equipped to handle influenza A if it does strike. A majority of cases this year, with flu season beginning Sept. 29, were influenza B. That strain affects children more than adults: so far, 39 children in the U.S. have died from the flu this season -- 28 from the influenza B strain.

The CDC estimates that there have been at least 13 million cases of the flu this season, resulting in 120,000 hospitalizations and 6,600 deaths.



Source:   https://www.nbc-2.com/story/41579894/flu-activity-is-declining-after-the-virus-killed-39-children-this-season
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kilt5 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 18 2020 at 3:25pm
its getting worse

Prep

The big one is coming
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My 4 year old grandson (who did get this year's flu vaccine) tested positive for FluB on Friday. He started running a fever last Saturday. He's had 3 febrile seizures (1 was complex) so we were worried that he'd have another when he first started running a fever. Thankful to share that he didn't have one with this illness! His general symptoms weren't that terrible...but the fever just kept on and on. My daughter took him to the pediatrician on Friday (day 7 of the fever). He started having bloody noses late on Thursday. I've never known anyone to have that happen with flu. Weird. His pediatrician did a CBC and it was normal. He ran a fever again yesterday morning but has been fever free since around noon yesterday. Of course my daughter started running a fever yesterday late afternoon (she also received this year's flu shot) - my 8 yo grandson and son in law are symptom free for now. I told her to get online with Teledoc to ask for Tamiflu for her and for the other two.

My other daughter works in a local hospital's ED. She said they've been seeing a lot of flu-like illnesses for weeks now. We are all in NE FL (Jacksonville area).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 19 2020 at 11:31am
I hope your family avoid the worst/recover fast and fully.

Thanks for updating us. Please keep it up!!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kilt5 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 hours 1 minutes ago at 1:39am
At this point in the season, CDC estimates indicate that there have been 13 million influenza illnesses, 120,000 hospitalizations, and 6600 flu-related deaths.
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