Severe flu season slams all but one state — CDC

Severe flu season slams all but one state — CDC

The CDC said they aren't sure how severe this flu season will end up being, but the number of related deaths continues to increase.

At UCLA Medical Center in Santa Monica, the emergency room saw more than 200 patients on at least one day, mostly because of the flu. "There's lots of flu in lots of places", says Dan Jernigan, director of CDC's influenza division.

And some hospitals in the San Francisco Bay Area are limiting visitors under the age of 16 as a precaution, since young people can be more vulnerable to effects of the flu.

The number of confirmed flu cases in Allegheny County has doubled since last week.

"The season started early and it is probably peaking right now", he said, but cautioned that there are still 11 to 13 more weeks of flu to come.

Those are two of the key ways the CDC monitors the severity of a flu season. That strain tends to make more people sick, and the people who get the flu tend to get sicker.

The flu has hit California so hard this season, pharmacies have run out of medicine to treat it, emergency rooms are packed and the death toll is rising. It's especially risky for children and the elderly.

Highbridge Capital Management LLC Buys New Position in Mitel Networks Corporation (MITL)
Institutional investors own 80.05% of the company's stock. (NYSE:GPS) for 60,860 shares. 38,293 are held by Captrust Advisors. On Tuesday, August 22 Chapman Paul Joseph sold $111,769 worth of The Gap, Inc. (NYSE:ENV) shares were sold by O'Brien Shelly.

"We've seen some on and off shortages but we have seen the warehouse show zero for Tamiflu quantity on hand", Winter said.

Official effectiveness data on this season's flu vaccine will not be available until the middle of next month. And Jernigan said he expected this year's vaccine to be about 30 percent effective against H3N2 when all is said and done.

Nevertheless, health officials are urging people to get vaccinated. Any protection is better than none. But most people in California and the rest of the country are catching a particularly unsafe strain of influenza that the vaccine typically doesn't work well against.

While the Glasgow and Belfast branches both had some vaccine in stock, a backlog of patients meant the supplies were accounted for and no new patients would be able to receive them during a walk-in-appointment, they said.

Health officials say all those indicators point to a potentially severe flu season, and Minnesota may not have seen the peak of the season yet.

So far, more than 151 million doses of vaccine have shipped, Fitzgerald said at the media briefing.

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