Indiana Health Department: 4 flu deaths so far this season

Ebony Scott
January 13, 2019

When it comes to vaccinating yourself - or your kids - against the flu, there are two options in the United States: a traditional shot or a nasal spray.

If the current strain continues to be the predominant virus, it is what the head of the epidemiology and prevention branch of CDC's flu division expects.

Last year, when the more virulent H3N2 virus was predominant, millions more got sick, almost 1 million were hospitalized, and as many as 80,000 died, according to the CDC.

On Friday, the CDC released its regular weekly flu update, showing that it was reported to be widespread in 30 states last week, up from 24 the week before.

It's hard to gauge how lethal the flu season has been for children across the country because Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia don't track influenza-related deaths in real time.

"We're seeing between 120 to 150 cases per week over the last few weeks", said medical health officer Dr. Karin Goodison. Flu usually takes off after Christmas and peaks around February. The agency estimates that between 6.2 and 7.3 million people had been sick with the flu as of January 5, and about half of them had seen a doctor because of it.

Data presented in FluView allow CDC to track flu activity, but do not provide exact case counts, with the exception of flu-associated pediatric deaths and human infections with novel influenza A viruses, which are nationally notifiable.

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Roughly 70,000 to 80,000 have been hospitalized.

The CDC has no estimate of deaths so far this season, partly because it's so early.

Because the model is new, CDC researchers said they aren't able to compare those estimates to previous flu seasons.

Confirming the details, Dr Farooq Jan Medical Superintendent SKIMS said that so far nine people have died due to H1N1 since September at the only tertiary care hospital.

Doctors say if you have flu symptoms you need to see a doctor within three days.

As of now, there have been a total of 893 flu-associated hospitalizations in OH this flu season, which runs from October 2018 to May 2019. Specifically, influenza-like illnesses (ILI) this week peaked at 3.5 percent, whereas last year's ILI peaked at 7.5 percent.

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