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H1N1 flu returns, with people under 65 most affected
The H1N1 virus responsible for the 2009 global pandemic is back. State health officials from across the country say the resurgence is resulting in a dramatic rise in flu deaths in young and middle-aged adults and in children this season.
While the reported death tolls so far are only a fraction of what they were four years ago, they are significantly higher than last year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the flu has been killing at epidemic levels since mid-January.
H1N1 Strain at 'Near Epidemic' Levels
….The Centers for Disease Control have said this year’s strain of H1N1 is at near-epidemic levels. That’s the same strain that caused widespread death back in 2009.
Doctors say it’s much worse than the general strain of the flu and is infecting and killing patients who are otherwise young and healthy, like McDowell.
Wilson-McDowell said her husband died one week after he started feeling sick.
...“This is a virus that infects the lungs,” Dr. Thomas Rushton said. “It invokes a strong immune response and so we will see young people that are healthy. They are, in fact, so healthy that they end up doing more damage."
Influenza epidemics occur yearly during autumn and winter in temperate regions. Illnesses result in hospitalizations and deaths mainly among high-risk groups (the very young, elderly or chronically ill). Worldwide, these annual epidemics result in about three to five million cases of severe illness, and about 250 000 to 500 000 deaths.
According to this week’s FluView report while influenza activity is decreasing, it remains elevated nationally. Flu activity is likely to continue for a number of weeks. Anyone aged 6 months and older who has not gotten a flu vaccine yet this season should get one now, especially if they are in a part of the country where activity started later. All flu vaccines are designed to protect against 2009 H1N1 viruses which are the most common flu viruses reported so far this season.
CDC Warns Of Threat From H1N1 Swine Flu
...the CDC, which issued an urgent call for flu shots today, warning that this year’s flu season is turning out to be particularly deadly and still has weeks or even months to go. And if you’re an adult between the ages of 18 and 65, they mean you.
...a scary 60 percent of flu deaths have been among those 25 to 65.
Update: Influenza Activity — United States, September 29, 2013-February 8, 2014
Pneumonia and Influenza-Associated Mortality
During the week ending February 8, 2014 (week 6), pneumonia and influenza (P&I) was reported as an underlying or contributing cause for 8.4% (1,023 of 12,180) of all deaths reported to the 122 Cities
...this year’s flu season is turning out to be particularly deadly and still has weeks or even months to go.
...Today’s numbers come from a national sampling of 122 U.S cities, but the CDC also issued a special report for California, where the flu has been particularly deadly in recent weeks. Flu deaths in California reached 243 on February 8th, the California Department of Public Health reported, but also said the peak season may have passed in the state (where spring comes early).
the newspapers and teevee news are filled with alarmist talking heads telling you how bad things are and it's a PANDEMIC!
As Death Toll Rises, the CDC Is Practically Begging Americans to Get Their Flu Shots
On Thursday, officials from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued a statement warning that the influenza strain that caused the 2009 swine flu pandemic, H1N1, is back with a vengeance. Since January, the flu has contributed to “epidemic” numbers of deaths among middle-aged and young Americans. The CDC suspects that flu activity will continue for at least another few weeks….
….this year’s H1N1 strain is hitting younger people the hardest. ….The hospitalization rate for people 18 and 64 has doubled, now representing 61 percent of all flu-related hospitalizations. And more than 60 percent of this winter’s flu deaths have occurred among people between the ages of 25 and 65.
….In Arkansas, a woman lost her unborn child after coming down with H1N1, only to lose her own life a month later. Another pregnant woman in Los Angeles also recently passed away. In San Francisco, a healthy 47-year-old women who worked at a local ABC News affiliate died from the flu just a few days after she started feeling sick ….
The outbreak appears to be hitting California the hardest, where 243 people under the age of 65 have died from the flu so far this year. That’s a dramatic spike from last season, when just 26 people in that demographic had died by this point. Hospitals are overflowing in the Golden State, and medical professionals have been forced to set up makeshift tents to quarantine people with flulike symptoms. ….