Flu's worsening shadow blanketing US

There were 16 flu-related deaths reported this week by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Friday in the weekly flu report.

Posted: Feb 2, 2018 10:35 AM
Updated: Feb 2, 2018 10:36 AM

There were 16 flu-related deaths reported this week by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Friday in the weekly flu report. This brings the total number of pediatric flu-related deaths to 53 for the season which began in October.

According to the report, influenza activity is now widespread in 48 states and Puerto Rico, down from 49 states during the previous two weeks. Oregon joined Hawaii in lower activity levels for the week ending January 27.

"We have not hit our peak yet, unfortunately," said Kristen Nordlund, a spokeswoman for the CDC. "It is not going down yet. Really, the bottom line is there is still likely many more weeks to go."

Caused by viruses, flu is a contagious, respiratory illness with mild to severe symptoms that can sometimes lead to death.

The CDC also recorded an uptick in patients who visited health care providers complaining of influenza-like illness across the nation, a rise to 7.1% for the week ending January 27 over 6.5%, the newly revised estimated from the previous week.

Worst in years
This year's flu season is rivaling the worst in recent years, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the United States' National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Overall, the data showed 17,024 new laboratory-confirmed cases of illness during the week ending January 27, bringing the season total to 126,117. These numbers do not include all the people who have had the flu, as many do not see a doctor when sick.

Nordlund said there have been reports of spot shortages of the generic version of Tamiflu medicine to treat the flu. This is "a result of flu hitting everywhere all at once," she said.

US Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb also said in statement Thursday that some antivirals as well as flu tests are in short supply. "However, at this time, there is no nationwide shortage of these products," said Gottlieb.

Flu vaccines also have been reported in short supply, but they are still available, said Gottlieb. "I strongly encourage anyone who hasn't had a flu shot to get one and anyone experiencing flu-like symptoms to promptly consult with their health care provider about appropriate treatment options."

Circulating virus strains
Circulating virus strains included both B strains (Yamagata and Victoria), H1N1 and H3N2, according to the CDC. "It's an H3N2 year," said Fauci.

Historically, H3N2 strains have been "bad actors," he said, known to cause more complications, hospitalizations and more deaths.

The hospitalization rate for 2018's fourth week is about 51 people per 100,000, which is higher than during the fourth week of the 2014-15 season, which recorded about 43 people hospitalized per 100,000. The 2014-15 flu season was considered "moderately severe" by the CDC and has been used as a comparison to the current season.

The 2017-18 flu season "unquestionably falls into the bucket of a severe year," said Fauci.

"This year, 2017-18, for a strikingly long part of the season, completely parallels the 2014-15 year," he said. "Except that last week or the week before, 2014-15 started to plateau and turn around -- but 2017-18 continued to go up."

"We very well may start to see it peak and turn around," said Fauci of the current flu season. "I hope it does, because if it doesn't it will be an even worse year than we're thinking."

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 125531

Reported Deaths: 2299
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin32544966
Ramsey13430347
Dakota9321134
Anoka8154148
Stearns544336
Washington530567
Scott320934
Olmsted308929
St. Louis268963
Wright229614
Nobles216416
Clay207343
Blue Earth19717
Carver17077
Rice15819
Kandiyohi15704
Sherburne156621
Mower149113
Winona119918
Lyon9286
Crow Wing91521
Waseca9119
Chisago8792
Benton8575
Beltrami7977
Otter Tail7726
Todd7323
Steele7242
Itasca68417
Nicollet68217
Freeborn6384
Morrison6296
Douglas6123
Martin58916
Le Sueur5855
McLeod5693
Watonwan5684
Goodhue51511
Pine5110
Becker5033
Polk5024
Isanti4953
Chippewa3973
Carlton3861
Dodge3660
Mille Lacs36010
Hubbard3352
Pipestone32816
Wabasha3270
Cass3205
Meeker3113
Rock3011
Brown3003
Yellow Medicine2675
Cottonwood2640
Murray2533
Redwood25011
Fillmore2380
Sibley2383
Renville23011
Faribault2130
Roseau1990
Jackson1981
Wadena1980
Unassigned19553
Swift1921
Kanabec18910
Houston1811
Stevens1681
Lincoln1670
Pennington1651
Koochiching1624
Aitkin1562
Pope1480
Big Stone1280
Wilkin1254
Lac qui Parle1242
Lake1050
Mahnomen971
Norman970
Grant904
Marshall881
Clearwater840
Red Lake592
Traverse530
Lake of the Woods421
Kittson270
Cook110

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 108620

Reported Deaths: 1562
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk18087283
Woodbury685392
Johnson566030
Black Hawk526596
Linn5114127
Dubuque476354
Scott410537
Story387418
Dallas331043
Pottawattamie299844
Sioux230414
Buena Vista220412
Marshall193736
Webster172814
Plymouth154426
Wapello147562
Clinton136926
Muscatine136158
Crawford132112
Cerro Gordo126323
Des Moines12409
Warren11596
Carroll10388
Jasper103034
Henry9865
Marion93510
Tama90737
Lee8819
Wright6951
Delaware6898
Dickinson6877
Boone6819
Mahaska63723
Bremer6239
Washington61111
Harrison5868
Jackson5393
Benton5211
Lyon5177
Louisa49415
Clay4884
Hamilton4513
Winneshiek4479
Winnebago44517
Hardin4315
Poweshiek43011
Kossuth4280
Floyd41811
Jones4133
Buchanan4033
Emmet40214
Cedar3935
Iowa3848
Franklin37518
Guthrie37215
Sac3694
Cherokee3682
Page3620
Clayton3533
Shelby3511
Butler3472
Fayette3462
Madison3442
Cass3402
Mills3391
Allamakee3358
Chickasaw3271
Clarke3163
Humboldt2993
Palo Alto2912
Hancock2864
Grundy2834
Calhoun2724
Howard2519
Osceola2480
Monroe24511
Mitchell2360
Monona2311
Taylor2252
Union2164
Pocahontas2112
Appanoose2063
Jefferson2031
Lucas1896
Fremont1821
Ida1792
Greene1740
Van Buren1622
Davis1584
Montgomery1585
Adair1431
Keokuk1421
Audubon1341
Worth1300
Decatur1290
Wayne1123
Ringgold822
Adams700
Unassigned50
Rochester
Overcast
32° wxIcon
Hi: 36° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 24°
Mason City
Overcast
36° wxIcon
Hi: 43° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 28°
Albert Lea
Overcast
34° wxIcon
Hi: 39° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 27°
Austin
Broken Clouds
36° wxIcon
Hi: 39° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 30°
Charles City
Overcast
39° wxIcon
Hi: 44° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 32°
Tracking more rain before the weekend, then snow returns
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Community Events