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: 20573

Reported Deaths: 878
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin6918534
Ramsey231697
Stearns192312
Nobles14572
Anoka116455
Dakota105935
Olmsted55110
Washington50626
Kandiyohi4541
Clay36623
Rice3652
Scott3462
Wright2401
Sherburne2081
Todd1970
Benton1662
Carver1612
Mower1501
Steele1400
Martin1245
Blue Earth1121
St. Louis11113
Pine850
Freeborn840
Winona7715
Carlton730
Nicollet683
Cottonwood620
Polk582
Otter Tail550
Itasca527
Goodhue522
Watonwan500
Chisago481
Dodge430
Meeker420
Crow Wing421
Le Sueur411
Chippewa400
Jackson390
Morrison380
Murray350
Becker320
Lyon310
Douglas290
McLeod260
Isanti250
Waseca240
Rock210
Unassigned199
Fillmore171
Mille Lacs161
Wabasha160
Swift150
Sibley120
Beltrami120
Wilkin113
Norman110
Kanabec111
Cass113
Faribault110
Brown112
Pipestone100
Marshall80
Pennington70
Pope70
Aitkin60
Wadena60
Yellow Medicine50
Koochiching50
Lincoln50
Mahnomen51
Renville50
Lac qui Parle30
Red Lake30
Big Stone30
Redwood30
Traverse30
Grant20
Houston20
Clearwater20
Hubbard10
Kittson10
Lake10
Roseau10

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 17227

Reported Deaths: 456
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk3714108
Woodbury255524
Black Hawk167639
Linn92775
Marshall86611
Dallas84914
Johnson5987
Muscatine54339
Wapello5004
Crawford4772
Tama39023
Louisa3347
Scott3319
Dubuque31916
Jasper25616
Buena Vista2310
Pottawattamie2106
Sioux1990
Washington1798
Allamakee1184
Wright1170
Plymouth1080
Warren1060
Story941
Poweshiek888
Bremer676
Henry611
Clinton601
Boone540
Des Moines531
Mahaska526
Cedar451
Guthrie433
Taylor370
Benton371
Jones360
Monroe334
Iowa320
Clarke320
Osceola320
Shelby310
Buchanan310
Clayton303
Marion290
Webster271
Fayette260
Hamilton260
Madison241
Monona230
Cerro Gordo221
Lee220
Winneshiek210
Davis200
Lyon190
Grundy190
Harrison190
Floyd181
Jefferson150
Cherokee150
Butler150
Mills140
Delaware140
Humboldt130
Sac130
Greene130
Keokuk130
Hardin130
Howard120
Hancock120
Appanoose123
Audubon111
Jackson110
Cass110
Ida100
Page100
Clay100
Winnebago100
Carroll90
Van Buren80
Franklin80
Dickinson80
Adair80
Chickasaw80
Kossuth70
Emmet70
Lucas60
Montgomery60
Union60
Adams50
Ringgold40
Fremont40
Pocahontas40
Mitchell40
Palo Alto30
Worth30
Unassigned30
Calhoun20
Wayne10
Decatur00
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