NEW YORK – The second wave of influenza is hitting the US, and this is one of the fastest seasons for children in ten years.
The number of child deaths and hospitalization rates for young people is the highest detected at this point in any season since the severe flu outbreak in 2009-10, health officials said on Friday. And the wave is expected to continue for weeks.
In Oregon, one child died from influenza so far this season. The overall flu trend is down, with a sharp fall in ER flu cases at the end of 2019. Following a modest revival in late January, flu cases fell again in the week ending February 8, the Oregon Health Authority data show.
Experts say that it can be a bad time for an extended flu season, because of concerns about the new Chinese coronary virus, which can cause symptoms that can be difficult to distinguish between flu. and testing.
If a coronary virus started spreading in the United States, there could be confusion about people being ill with flu or influenza, said Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University.
This flu season started as early as 15 years, with flu outbreaks occurring in parts of the South as early as October. Most of the cases were due to the type of influenza that causes significant infections in the spring only, at the end of the flu season.
That wave reached in late December and fell steadily for weeks afterwards.
But the second boom started at the end of January. Last week the percentage of visits to doctors’ offices increased due to illness such as influenza, according to the U Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
“Flu is still not progressing. We are still doing our best,” said Dr. David Weber, an infectious disease specialist at the University of North Carolina, on patient traffic in Chapel Hill.
Overall, the CDC estimated that 26 million Americans were ill with flu in the last fall and winter, with around 250,000 influenza hospitals and about 14,000 deaths.
The viruses behind both waves can be difficult for children and young people. But they are not considered dangerous for people of retirement age – good news, since most flu and hospital deaths occur every winter among older people.
In fact, the overall death and hospital rates this season are not “high because we have not seen older people as part of this flu season,” said Lynnette Brammer of the CDC.
However, 92 deaths associated with influenza in children have already been reported, a higher total at this point in the year than in any season over the last decade. And the hospital rates are also much higher than the rates seen at this point.
The CDC stated that the reason for the fluctuating child fluctuations in the same season is two.
It is estimated that the health agency will release an estimate next week on the effectiveness of the flu vaccine.
To date, only 15 MS cases of coronavirus have been confirmed, and no deaths. Each case had only two cases in people who traveled to Wuhan, China, the heart of the international outbreak. The other two were distributed from travelers to their spouses.
Schaffner said that for the time being, it is easy to determine a probable coronavirus case by asking questions about the patient’s travel history.
Some people may have been worried about flu symptoms going to the doctor for testing this year, but Brammer may have stayed at home in recent years. But there is nothing in CDC data that shows that this is happening, she said.
However, it is okay if it happens, Dr Nancy Messonnier from the CDC said.
“I am not particularly concerned about people who care little and are looking for care, as this is the point. We are looking for a wider spread in the community, ”she said.
To this end, health officials will be using five public health laboratories that usually test the flu to start checking on coronavirus. These laboratories are in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Seattle. When a negative specimen tests the flu, it will then be tested for coronavirus, says Messonnier.
Staff reporter Fedor Zarkhin contributed to this report.
– The Associated Press