Allegheny County leads state in confirmed flu cases

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It's being labeled the worst flu season in recent memory and swamping a number of hospitals across CT.

Martinello said flu vaccines are generally around 60 percent effective in prevention, noting that the vaccine is tweaked every year in an attempt to target what are projected to be the most prevalent strains of the disease.

Monitoring on a weekly basis is important at this crucial time of severe flu season that has already resulted to 30 pediatric deaths.

The flu is so deadly this year that it has claimed the lives of physically fit people all over the country. The flu epidemic sweeping across America is gaining steam, even as a political standoff in Washington threatens to shut down the government and suspend the nation's influenza program.

Through last week, almost half of Connecticut's 1,342 lab tests, that were positive for the flu, came from hospitalized patients. "We know a lot of people are still sick". This year's epidemic is especially hard to contain thanks to the resilient H3N2 virus, the predominant strain, said Lynnette Brammer, who leads the CDC's domestic flu surveillance team.

The most common flu vaccine protects against three common strains of influenza, and there's plenty in supply for anyone still looking to get vaccinated.

"Having those numbers really informs us about our own preparedness and hospital operations", said Maragakis. Pregnant women, the elderly, young children and people with other underlying health problems are at much greater risk of suffering the worst flu symptoms-which can lead to hospitalization and death.

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He addressed reports that the vaccine isn't a good match to the H3N2 strain that is predominant this year. They said the number of flu hospitalizations has risen dramatically since the start of the season at the end of the summer.

"If you do get the infection, however, it probably attenuates the course, or your symptoms will be less severe", Dr. Russo said.

"CDC specifically will be continuing their ongoing influenza surveillance".

The CDC reports that as of January 7, about 78 percent of all cases of influenza in the US have been H3N2, the most risky.

Warnings around the so-called Australian, French and Japanese flu have been circulated to ensure people are taking precautions against contracting one of the viruses, with health officials in many countries urging people to get a flu vaccination. They did not release other information about the two children, citing privacy reasons.

So many people are so sick and so scared that hospitals in Southern California are running out of nurses and doctors to treat them. He added that these people are requiring "pretty significant therapy".

"When we have a bad season like what we have now, it's not unexpected we're going to see more deaths", said Dr. Kim Erlich, medical director of infection control at Mills Peninsula Medical Center in Burlingame.


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