7 million Americans have flu: 19 states and NYC are hit hard – but it is MUCH less lethal than last year, reveals CDC in first report of the season
- The flu shot seems to be much more effective this year in warding off infections, so the CDC urges as many people as possible to get it as soon as possible.
- 6.2 million people have been ill from flu since 5 January
- 69,300 to 83,500 people have been admitted to the hospital with flu
- The rates are high in 19 states and New York City; this time last year rates were high in 46 states
Mia De Graaf Health Editor for Dailymail.com
Up to 7 million Americans have taken care of the flu this season, with about 70,000-80,000 hospitalized, the CDC revealed.
The figures released today in the office's first flu report confirm that this year's strain (H1N1), although serious, is not nearly as threatening as last year's (H3N2), which has 80,000 people killed.
Only 19 states and New York City report high viral activity – compared with 46 states this time last year.
Experts say that the promising news is that the flu shot this year appears to be much more effective in disposing of infections, so they urge as many people as possible to get it as soon as possible.
This year, 90 percent of the flu cases tested by the CDC, H1N1, are the same species that caused the swine flu epidemic in 2009. Rates are high in 19 states and New York City
From January 5, 6.2 to 7.3 million people are ill from flu. Between 2.9 and 3.5 million people have been taken to the doctor by flu and 69,300 to 83,500 people have been admitted to the hospital with flu.
According to the latest estimates, at least 13 children have died. The CDC does not update data on adult deaths.
This year, 90 percent of the flu cases tested by the CDC, H1N1, are the same species that caused the swine flu epidemic in 2009.
It is a much, much milder species than the H3N2 that killed more than 80,000 Americans last season.
Ten percent of people are diagnosed with H3N2.
Rates are rising between December and March, and although this year's tax is not nearly as deadly as last year's, there is no fail-safe way to protect yourself.
The CDC continues to recommend influenza vaccination as the best way to reduce the risk of influenza and possible serious complications, including death in children.
If you develop flu-like symptoms, stay at home for at least 24 hours. If it persists and your fever worsens, seek medical attention.
People who are very ill or at high risk of severe flu complications must receive antiviral medication as soon as possible.
The best bet you can take to protect yourself from the flu is to get the flu shot, wash your hands regularly, not touch your face, stay hydrated and get a good night's sleep.
But as rates go up, hospitals are working to prevent spread in their department.
They can not be sure that everyone who enters through their doors does so – especially stressed relatives whose loved ones are ill.
New Jersey, North Carolina, and Indiana are just a few of the states that set limits to the influx of people to their divisions, with much more to follow.
Some hospitals, including Arizona and Rhode Island, will ensure that visitors wear masks.
"Many of our patients have a compromised immune system because they fight against another disease and therefore they are primarily in the hospital.", Said Jennifer Burrows, head nurse at the Providence St. Vincent Medical Center, told KPTV .