Experts urge more vaccinations as flu becomes 'widespread' in Alabama

13 January, 2019, 19:15 | Author: Kara Nash
  • Here's How Many People Have Caught the Flu So Far This Season (Hint: It's a Lot)

As the virus spreads across the state and the country, experts like Dr. Spencer Durham, assistant clinical professor and infectious disease specialist in the Auburn's Harrison School of Pharmacy, say there is still plenty of time to get protected with a flu shot.

With two persons infected with swine flu virus dying at SMHS hospital here, the death toll so far this season due to H1N1 has reached to 11.

The CDC's latest report marks the first time the agency has provided relatively current estimates for the total number of influenza cases, doctor's visits and hospitalizations during a given flu season.

"The system continuously evaluates the predictive power of each independent method and recalibrates how this information should be used to produce improved flu estimates", says Santillana.

Doctors maintain the most important thing we can do to protect ourselves against the flu is to get an annual flu shot.

About 6 million to 7 million Americans have become ill since flu season kicked off in the fall. The agency estimates that between 6.2 and 7.3 million people had been sick with the flu as of January 5, and about half of them had seen a doctor because of it.


Laurentiu Givelichian, the head of pediatrics for the University of Saskatchewan and the Saskatchewan Health Authority, said that in his province the flu isn't just affecting more kids than usual - it's making them sicker, too.

Roughly 70,000 to 80,000 have been hospitalized.

In Arizona, there have been 4,510 confirmed cases of influenza this season compared to 16,144 past year at this time, and the flu is widespread throughout the state.

For a universal flu vaccine to work, it has to target certain parts of the virus that don't change much from season to season, and that's no easy task. However, these numbers are estimated using a mathematical model, based on observed rates of laboratory-confirmed influenza-associated hospitalizations.

"Influenza season generally begins in October and can last through May, with peak activity usually between December and February", Durham said in statement. That said, it is still not possible to tell how severe the 2018-2019 flu season will be on the whole, and it is still affecting many lives.

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