Yes- it’s true – this flu season was nasty and record breaking. We didn’t imagine that. While it’s peaked – it’s still widespread. You’re not out of the woods yet. According to the CDC, the 2017-18 influenza outbreak has led to the highest measured hospitalization rates for the virus. As of last week- 25,676 people were hospitalized for the flu.
There are 4 strains this year- 2 are type A- 2 are type B. The prevailing strain,H3N2 is especially vicious and is causing more complications and deaths among the very young and of course- the very old.
Between 80-85% of pediatric flu-related deaths occur in children who had not gotten the flu vaccine. No more than 1/2 of them had underlying diseases that put them at higher risk to die from the flu.
Children are more vulnerable because their immune and respiratory systems are less mature.
The same applies to the elderly – they both struggle to stay hydrated and end up under-eating which puts them at higher risk. Those over 65 are also less likely to get proper diagnosis- as their symptoms are often confused with what may be an underlying condition. They are less likely to get tested for the flu- and thus- less likely to be treated with anti-virals.
The best things you can do to for yourself or your loved ones is:
1) get vaccinated
2) go to the hospital if you show signs and you are immune compromised
3) wash you hands – wash your hands – wash your hands!
So far this year- we’ve seen 128 pediatric deaths. 98% of the deaths were adults over 65! The final numbers won’t be tallied until the flu season is over.
I will share those statistics with you next Fall when I start reminding you to get your flu shot!
This year – there was really no way to hide from the flu!
This year – I was lucky enough to get 2 strains of the flu back to back.
I hope my luck gets much better next year.
I hope all of you have better luck too.