Number of flu cases continues to decrease

Alicia Farmer
March 10, 2018

"We are starting to see across-the-state declines in the flu season, very similar to what's happening across the country", Gupta said. Officially designated H3N2, this variant has proven resistant to the latest flu vaccine and has become the most common circulating.

The latest figures showed flu is still proving a problem across the United Kingdom, but that infections have "peaked", PHE said.

"We have not had a new class of antivirals for 20 years", Bright told the members, adding that the influenza virus continues to change and so can develop "high levels of resistance" against the current Food and Drug Administration-approved antiviral medicine, oseltamivir (Tamiflu).

The ninth week of flu season in MA - counting from the start of 2018 - shows that influenza-like illness activity accounted for 3.03 percent of visits to reporting outpatient sites in the state for the week ending March 9.

Last year, 218 people died from the flu in North Carolina.

"Now, about 45 percent [of cases] are influenza B", he said.

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This year's flu season is shaping up to be one of the worst seen in many years.

Despite this, national experts seem confident the country has made it past peak flu season, according to the latest flu report from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention. In particular, H7N9, seen primarily in China but not in the U.S., is most resistant, he said.

While the increased numbers aren't overly concerning to health officials, Strang said it could be due to an unusual mix of flu strains. The age group is responsible for 143 of the state's 201 flu deaths since October.

He said: "If a new and highly contagious strain of H5N1 were to evolve and hitchhike with an unwitting passenger on to an aeroplane, the pandemic situation would quickly assume disaster movie proportions".

"You just need to walk in and ask for a free flu shot", the release states.

The uncommonly harsh flu season claimed another seven lives in CT in recent days, but the worst of the outbreak appears to be over, health officials announced Thursday. To avoid giving the flu to others, stay home when you are sick, cough or sneeze into tissues and discard them properly, and wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use an approved hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.

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