Flu Update December 2013

According to the CDC flu activity is on the rise for the 2013-14 flu season. Flu activity is particularly high in four regions of the United States which includes Alabama, Texas, Mississippi and Louisiana. In these states flu activity is above the normal base line for these area. Of considerable concern is the fact that the prevalent strain for the 2013-14 flu season is H1N1 which is better known as swine flu. This is the same strain that caused the flu pandemic in 2009. During the 2009 Pandemic the H1N1 virus lead to 45 deaths and resulted in just under eighteen thousand infections. According to the CDC the amount of deaths attributable to the flu are also increasing but are below what is considered epidemic proportions. Below you can learn more about the flu season for 2013 – 2014 and what steps you need to take to properly protect yourself.

Peak of Flu Season 2013/2014

Flu season is expected to peak during January and February. However, flu season can extend from the beginning of October through to late May. The CDC advises that anyone over the age of six months should receive a flu vaccine to protect themselves. The CDC selects the three main strains of flu viruses which they will be the most prevalent for 2013-2014 and provides a vaccine to counter each of these. The CDC also recommends that people take preventative steps including avoiding close contact with people who have the flu and washing your hands with soap and water when using public rest rooms or before eating (further recommendations). If you are infected it is recommended that you stay home to prevent further infections from occurring. The flu is particularly dangerous for vulnerable individuals, which includes young children, the elderly and those with existing health problems such as heart conditions.

All about the flu / flu season 2013/2014

All about the flu / flu season 2013/2014

During the 2013-2014 flu season there will be vaccines made available for three different flu viruses. These vaccines are known as trivalent and protect against the influenza B virus and the two different forms of influenza A viruses. Standard dose trivalent shots with a virus grown in an egg can be administered to people aged six months or older. Trivalent shots grown in a cell culture are suitable for people aged eighteen years and older. And high dosage trivalent shots are suitable for people aged sixty five and over. There will also be quadrivalent vaccines which are effective protection for four different flu viruses. The quadrivalent vaccine is effective for protecting against two types of influenza B virus and two types of influenza A virus. The standard dose quadrivalent vaccine is administered as a nasal spray and is suitable for healthy people aged 2 to 45 years old. The CDC does not recommend either the quadrivalent or trivalent vaccine over the other, but does state that people should get at least one of the vaccines for the 2013 – 2014 flu season.

The years flu vaccine will protect against the H1N1 strain. Spokespeople for the CDC state that it is unlikely that the H1N1 virus will reach pandemic levels as it did during 2009. The reason for this is that because this years flu vaccine protects against H1N1 and millions of people have received it. In addition millions of people have already been exposed to the H1N1 virus since 2009. In order for a pandemic to take place a new group of people who haven’t been previously exposed to the virus need to be exposed. In the United States this is not the the case. This year most of the infections of the H1N1 virus are occurring in the South Central regions of the United States and among young adults.

For the 2013 – 2014 flu season it is estimated that vaccine manufacturers will produce between 138 and 145 million influenza vaccine doses for the United States. Of these between 106 and 113 will be the trivalent flu vaccine. The rest of the doses produced will be for the quadrivalent flu vaccine. Vaccines are designed to provide protection for the entire flu season. People who were vaccinated during the previous flu season will still require new shots this year. The exact protective period of the vaccine depends on a number of different factors including the age and health of the person receiving the dose. Spokespeople for the CDC state that each year between 40 and 45% of the population are vaccinated for the flu, but they would like to see this figure to increase to 70%.

How to protect against the flu…

 

Flu Season Still Far from Over

We are now nearing the end of February and yet there is not end on sight with the flu season. There are reports of flu activity declining but these are in the east where the flu season started. The flu activity on the west is still up and is expected to peak by early March. That means that this year’s flu season is much longer than expected.

The CDC was able to record 22 states with influenza activity that is widespread during February 10 to 16. That is about 44 percent of the entire United States. So it is logically to conclude that the flu season is still at large despite the CDC claiming that it is nearing its end. It is expected though since flu seasons in the US usually end by February. But since it started out earlier this time (December instead of January) we may as well expect it to last longer.

The experience also lead to the discovery on how ineffective are the flu shots on the elderly. This makes matters worst since a lot of elderly did not expect the flu vaccines to fail so miserably. The flu shot given to individuals 65 years old and above was observed to be effective to only 9% of the total recipients. This is a huge concern since the elderly usually suffer more during flu seasons. The vaccines were developed based on the information gathered during the flu season last 2012. It seems the information is obsolete when formulating a vaccine for the elderly.

Pediatric death toll continues to rise. The latest number of deaths for since February 2 was 14. There is still not reports if whether these children were vaccinated or not. Even so, it is best to not just rely on the flu shot. Maintain a kin eye on any signs of flu on your kids. Early detection is very important since the flu vaccine does not guarantee a 100 percent protection to the virus. The current statistics shows that it is only 62% effective against the flu virus strand this flu season.

For the elderly (individuals 65 years old and up), the efficacy is even below 10%. And this caused several lives already. The elderly are more susceptible to the flu virus and they are more likely to die from complications from the disease. Based on the number of deaths it is possible that the false sense of safety brought by the flu shots contributed to it. To the elderly, the flu shots were a waste of time and a gamble that was not worthwhile. It even made them complacent when they should have been vigilant in protecting themselves from the virus.

Detection of the flu virus within 48 hours is strongly recommended for early treatment that greatly helps in dealing with the disease. This would have been the key in preventing the number of deaths. The sad part is that the CDC and other media sources placed too much emphasis on the flu shots. A lot of people thought that it would be enough and did not expect that the vaccine has a chance of failing by almost 40 percent. That is a very high margin for failure for a drug that is supposed to protect us from a very common yet deadly virus.

Pregnant women should start protecting themselves from exposure. The flu shot is proven safe for them but due to the efficacy issue it is best for them to remain healthy and maintain proper hygiene like proper cleaning of hands and wearing face masks when going out. Eating healthy will also help strengthen the immune system.

SARS-like virus in this flu season

The US is also currently in the lookout for any signs that the dreaded SARS-like flu observed in the UK and has died from it. A total of 6 people have died from the said virus in the world. This was verified last February 13. There is still no recorded incident of such a virus affecting anyone in the US but the CDC remains vigilant. There are about 12 people who have contracted the virus worldwide and 6 of these people have died. That is a 50 percent mortality rate for a flu virus.

This new SARS-like flu virus could spell an extension to the US flu season and could lead to more deaths. CDC is already expecting the worst case scenario and is preparing for it. The death toll would be far worse in the US if this new flu virus hits the nation.

The total death now is 78 based on recorded incidents. The death toll among children is now 59. But the CDC expects the numbers to be higher when flu season finally ends. The department is still reluctant to make an estimate so make way for accurate counts.

Is Flu Being Hyped To Unnecessary Levels?

It’s already February, but it’s still cold and dreary – still the perfect time for influenza virus to strike, and for the mainstream media to grab the opportunity and scare people of its harm, causing us to rush in our supermarkets and buy excessive hand sanitizers.

In the past couple of years, we can recall the bird flu and the world-famous H1N1, formerly known as swine flu, and caused a lot of trouble for pigs simply because of media’s hype and public’s misconception. These viruses were highly contagious, something we’ve always tried to avoid – well – just like a plague. Each year, we see dramatic outbreak of flu virus, and this year was no different, as a matter of fact, it’s the earliest season in nearly a decade. For this flu season, the Center for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) said that, the media frenzy behind the outbreak seems just some of those years.

Awareness about the flu virus is indeed, very important for public health. The young ones and the elderly are amongst the most vulnerable from these risks. Nobody wants to get sick, it compromises our busy and fast-paced 21st century lives. Thus, it is only reasonable that we want to know the truth behind the threat.

However, it is also very important that we keep our emotions in check and things in perspective. If we become sick from the flu virus, then it’s going to happen, and we can’t save ourselves even by bathing in Purell. What most people fail to realize is that, when one gets sick and he or she is normally healthy, then it’s important that he or she
should be sick – meaning, one should let the virus run its course and help the immune system fight and beat the virus from inside. The most bothersome thing about flu is people walking around carrying and spreading the virus, like a classmate or coworker arriving in the morning and announcing in a nasal voice of having the virus. Flu is highly contagious, and it’s an airborne virus that circulates in an enclosed room. We all don’t want to be around someone with the virus, nor inside a room with a person infected by it. The best thing you can do to yourself and the people around you when you get affected is to stay at home, get some rest, and drink a lot of fluids and healthy foods to help the body recover fast. Call your office or your teacher about your situation, and everyone wins.

In the early weeks of January in light of the flu outbreak, which peaked significantly earlier than usual (that’s according to CDC), there has been an increased demand for flu vaccines. The vaccine is said to protect us from the virus 100% – and this is simply another hype the mainstream media taught us. To tell you frankly, the CDC conducted
a study about the efficacy of the vaccines to protect us from the virus in 2011 – 2012 season. The result shows the vaccine can only protect us by 50%. Meaning, though it certainly doesn’t hurt to get vaccinated, it is not the sole solution against the problem, and there’s still no guarantee.

The reason behind this rating of efficacy is that, the virus circulating doesn’t always match the vaccine 100%. Though the CDC and health experts are doing their best to protect the public through vaccination, the strain of the virus circulating varies year after year. For this year however, the vaccine is a pretty good much for the strain of virus circulating.

Bloomberg reported in January that, this year’s inoculation accounts to about 62% of vaccine efficacy. That’s a whopping 12% increase from the usually 50% protection.

However, to be safe, one should never be surprised if he or she still gets sore throat and sniffles even after the vaccination at some point this winter. Even if the vaccine doesn’t stop the sickness entirely, some stubborn symptoms may still appear, and can be a lot less severe.

The flu vaccine takes almost 2 weeks to take in effect, thus, it’s very important to take it for what its worth. While waiting for it to kick in, the best thing you can do to safeguard yourself from the virus is to keep your body clean, wash your hands often, get enough sleep, and keep a healthy lifestyle.

Flu Cases Decline but Mortality Rate in Kids Up

The spread of the flu virus in some parts of the United States caused alarm amongst the local health officials. However, the CDC director has noted that the spread has somewhat slowed down in some parts of the country and officials are hoping that the decline will continue until they have completely regained control of the situation.

About 24 states in the US, including New York, had been reported to have experienced high level of the flu activity. This report came from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as part of their regular update on flu activity, which spans between the last week of December and first few weeks of January 2013. In comparison to an earlier report, this means that it is 5 less number of states that are still battling the repercussions of flu activity.

The far West Coast, as noted by Dr. Joseph Bresee of the Influenza Division at CDC, is the only part of the US that is relatively unaffected by the flu spread. The most troubling part of the report concerning the monitoring of flu cases in the country would have to be the number of pediatric deaths resulting from it. In fact, there was an increase of two when compared to previous data.

Reports indicate that 20 of those that had been confirmed death by flu were below the age of 18. This data was gathered since the onset of the flu outbreak in the US. The data for the adult deaths relating to the flu is not conclusive as of the moment, but if some of the local authorities data were to be used as basis, this number could be somewhere near a dozen.

The activity map outlined by the CDC helps to pinpoint exactly where the main focus of the flu activity is, which is also crucial in leading health authorities in terms of focusing their efforts on prevention and recovery. The map shows that the Southeast of the United States is largely affected by the flu outbreak, which includes the following states: Florida, Georgia, Arkansas, Kentucky, and South Carolina. New York, along with some other Northeastern states, were also largely affected by the flu spread. On the flip side, states like Hawaii, Mississippi and California shows no signs of flu activity.

The CDC clarifies to the citizens that a state is only tagged as having experienced “widespread” flu activity when more than half of the geographic region is affected. But because this time of year is dubbed as “flu season”, local and national health officials expect flu activity to increase. The fact that influenza activity follows an up and down trend also makes it difficult to make conclusive statements as to the real state of the flu activity in the nation, as well as the affected areas. Close monitoring is required to ensure that the situation is under control.

Officials have promised to closely monitor the situation in the next couple of weeks as part of the Flu 2013 prevention movement. They will determine by then if the flu season has peaked or will continue to see its peak in the coming weeks.

According to Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, the “[flu epidemic] is still on the upstick.”

One of the reasons why flu 2013 activity had been more serious than it was a few years ago is the fact that flu season came in early this year. Also, the severity of the cases had been increased from last year. This is evident in the city of Boston wherein the city mayor Thomas Menino had said, “this is the worst flu season we’ve seen since 2009, and people should take the threat of flu seriously.”

Right now, health officials within the affected states are joining their efforts in spreading more information about the symptoms of flu. Their focus is directed towards limiting the mortality rate, especially the cases of pediatric deaths.

Flu Virus Still Getting Strong In Western States

What is considered as the worst flu season in recent history is still flexing its muscle in Western States.

Out of the 24 states that reported high number of influenza-like conditions (ILI), 19 were around the Mississippi River during the first four weeks of the year, ending 26th of January. This is according to “Flu View” 2012-13 flu season report released on Friday by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

In the last days of 2012, 18 and 29 states reported elevated cases of ILI, lay east of Mississippi.

The migration of the flu virus from east to west is an enduring pattern according to the CDC.

Though there’s been a decrease of percentage of outpatient visits throughout the country, it rose abruptly in the fourth week of 2013, affecting 8 Western states, including Arizona, Alaska, California, Nevada, Idaho, Hawaii, Oregon and Washington. The rate also took a step slightly higher in Midwestern states of Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska.

According to the Flu View report, the ILI rate for the fourth week of this year, across the country, is at 4.2%. That’s slightly lower from week three though. This is also a sign of decrease, as the rate went as high as 5.6% in the last week of 2012.

Another key factor for flu activity is the number of respiratory specimens that was tested positive for the virus, which also continued its gradual drop from 26.1% in third week of this year, to 25.5% on the fourth week of 2013. Furthermore, the number of states reporting widespread influenza fell to 42.

Children and Seniors Face Special Threat As Flu Grows Acute in 48 States

One of the biggest headlines about this flu season is the new strain that particularly affects children and seniors, which has already expanded throughout 40 states this year.

Though the dominant strain varies depending on the region, the H3N2 A is the prevalent strain this flu season, and its patient is mostly children and the elderly. The US CDC reported a total of 8.3% deaths in over 122 cities across the country of both flu and pneumonia (the usual consequence of the virus) – this is 1.1% above the standard used to categorize flu epidemics.

Based on the statistics collected from 1976 to 2006, there’s an average of 36,000 deaths in a usual flu season, where the number of fatalities ranges from 3,000 to 49,000 each year. From this group, almost 90% deaths are among adults, particularly 65 years old and up.

Likely, almost 50% of hospitalization from this age group, and for this year in particular, the data shows to be higher than normal.

Director Dr. Thomas Frieden, from the CDC, said that – “Last week hospitalization rates increased sharply in people 65 and over, and this week hospitalization rates for people 65 and over increased sharply again — to 82 per 100,000, which is really quite a high rate.”

The flu virus has been common in the South and Southeast for as early as November, which is far earlier than the common flu season, which usually peaks during January and early-February. Also, experts warn that, this year’s flu season is far from over.

Frieden said “we are in the middle of flu season, about halfway through, and it’s shaping up to be a worse-than-average season and a bad season, particularly, for the elderly.”

Despite of maxing out in some regions across the country, the H3N2 flu strain is still quite severe and common. Experts say the virus is even growing worse in some other parts of the country.

Influenza vaccine, which is still widely available despite the advancement of the outbreak, still provides the best protection against flu and flu-related conditions. Despite its shortages in particular parts of the country – only 129 million doses from the distributed 135 million – flu shot makers say they can increase the production to about 149 million vaccines to meet the growing demand.

Flu Season Continues, Reaches and Spreads In New Hampshire

On average, Londonderry Middle School sees 15 absent students per day. For the past couple of weeks, more than 100 students have been out every day because of the virus.

Schools and educational institutions are becoming emptier each day than usual, teachers blame this to the increase of flu cases and flu-related illnesses among their students.

14 people have already died this flu season in New Hampshire due to A H3N2 flu strain, most of them are seniors. According to Director Dr. José Montero, this is an unusually high data, considering it’s still quite early of the season.

As the news of on the spread of the virus went on, so does the illness, thus the demand for the vaccine also started to rise.

While many pharmacies and some Bay State communities have run out of the flu shot, vaccines are still readily available in Southern New Hampshire.

Today, hospitals and medical institution are swamped, accommodating flu patients and those who are asking for the flu shot.

Susan Chadwick from the Derry Medical Center, says they’ve received at almost twice the number of calls they usually receive every day. Their office averaged 1,200 calls every day for the last month and a whopping 25% increase calls. Because of which, their office added more staff to accommodate the growing number of patients.

“It’s not too late to get a flu shot here,” Chadwick said. “We are meeting the high demand right now.”

Another place with high demand for more flu shot is the Walgreens in Derry. They only had vaccines for 65 age and up after running out of supplies in January 10th, but they received a new batch of vaccines on the 14th.

Not all schools reported surge in absences, but health officials say they’re anticipating for it to come, considering the pattern of the spread of this year’s flu season.

“I think (absences) have been normal because we just got back from vacation and the schools were cleaned then,” said Laura Nelson, Derry Cooperative School District superintendent. “I anticipate seeing changes as the weeks go on.”

School officials however, are doing everything they can to minimize the impact of the flu. As a matter of fact, the district has been following the same safety procedures implemented during the outbreak of H1N1 virus in 2009. Cleanliness and sanitation are emphasized, with hand sanitizers available in line school hallways, reminding the students to clean their hands regularly to stop the spread of the virus.

Read more:

Flu symptoms

Flu treatment

Flu avoidance

Flu Outbreak A Quick Reminder From Senior Care Experts

This year’s flu season is developing to be the worst in the last couple of decades – with the CDC already recording extensive outbreaks across the country.

While anyone can be affected by the viral illness, seniors are at greater risk as they’re much more susceptible to the virus and serious flu-related health complications which may lead into hospitalization or even death. More than 50% of flu-related hospitalization and 90% of the reported flu-related are people age 65 and above.

Flu is really dangerous for seniors, and the government is becoming more and more concerned about this season’s outbreak. Jeff Huber, franchiser and president of Home Instead Senior Care, says “We encourage seniors and their families to take extra precautions to protect themselves from the virus.”

To fight the widespread viral illness, senior care experts highly recommend:

Seniors to get their flu shot: flu vaccine remains the best first-line of defense against the deadly virus, which is why experts still strongly encourage seniors, especially those who come in contact with seniors regularly, to get the shot if they haven’t done it yet. There’s no need to worry about the price for the flu shot, as Medicare covers one vaccine for every season of flu.

Practice good hygiene, wash hands frequently and properly – frequent hand washing, especially after sneezing or coughing, or using of hand sanitizers of anti-bacterial alcohol can keep help virus at bay.

Cover up when coughing and sneezing – many people don’t know this, but droplets and mist from cough or sneeze can travel up to 6 feet. Don’t help spread the virus, cover your cough or sneeze with a disposable tissue and dispose it properly, immediately. If you don’t have a tissue with you, then cover your mouth with your elbow, not with your hands.

Stay indoors often – Save yourself from acquiring the virus by staying away from the virus, meaning, stay away from the crowded places like community events and shopping centers as much as possible during an outbreak.

Avoid contact with affected people – flu is a virus, thus it’s contagious. Stay away from people suffering from flu as much as possible.

Get enough rest – stress will cause chemical imbalances in your body, which would lead into depletion of your immune system. Make sure you rest well and eat well. Safeguard your health with the right nutrients to boost your immune system. Eat food rich in vitamin C, D and B complex and improve your health through regular exercise.

If exhibiting symptoms of flu, especially the seniors, visit your doctor immediately and ask for medication (antiviral medication such as Tamiflu) to alleviate the symptoms and help the body beat the virus and recover.

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Influenza Cases In U.S. Continues To Rise This Month

The season of flu is still in motion in the Northern Hemisphere, particularly in the United States. Here’s the latest report, along with few tips to keep you from this wintertime sickness:

The latest update shows another big leap in the number of reported cases as of the second week of December this year. Presently, there are already 29 states reporting a widespread activity of the virus throughout its population, which includes Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. This is 11 more states than last week, and more than half of the country being widely affected.

12 more states, including the states of Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Washington, are reporting some regional activities of the virus.

Local flu activity also includes Columbia District and 5 more states, namely Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Montana, and Oregon.

Meanwhile, California, Hawaii and Vermont are reporting sporadic influenza activities, while Delaware, Puerto Rico, and Virgin Islands didn’t report any cases this week.

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) still emphasize the importance of the flu vaccine, and that the flu shot is still out best defense to keep the deadly virus at bay. The CDC recommends everyone, over 6 months of age, to get the shot and be immunized. The flu shot in circulation today was derived from three strains of flu virus, one strain is new for this season’s vaccine.

Despite CDC’s constant reminder, many people are still hesitant to take the flu shot, thinking that it can, cause them to sickness. It’s important to note that, though the vaccine may cause some flu-like side effects to particular sets of people, such as mild fever, muscle aches, sore throat, and runny nose, it does not give the body the flu. Rather, it teaches the body to fight and beat the flu virus should the real one comes a close.

Flu shots however, aren’t for everyone, such as patients below 6 months of age and pregnant women. Those who can’t take the vaccine are advised to take extra measures in taking care of their health and minimize the risk for contracting the virus of lessen its symptoms, such as avoiding close contact to sick or flu-affected individuals, avoiding other people when sick, staying at home from school or work when experiencing flu or flu-like symptoms, washing hands frequently, covering mouth and nose when coughing and/or sneezing, and avoid touching noise or mouth and the eyes.

Flu Update: As of Early December 2012

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says, the United States is experiencing its earliest flu season for the first time in almost a decade. The last time flu season started so early was during the 2003-04 season.

Flu-like cases have increased dramatically in 5 states in southern US, and an infectious train of H3N2 virus – one which makes people sicker – shows to be the dominating strain this season, officials say. Older adults are more at risk of severe symptoms and complications of this virus.

Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of CDC, says, “It looks like it’s shaping up to be a bad flu season, but only time will tell.”

The US however, appears to be well prepared for this year’s flu season, Dr. Frieden added. Almost a third of US citizens has already received their annual flu shot, and authorities say that it provides protection for the dominant strain that’s currently infection people today.

Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and Texas, are reporting particularly higher rate of influenza virus, and 48 states, including Puerto Rico, have confirmed reported cases of influenza. There’s also been a rapid growth of reported cases from the number of samples that are coming back that shows positive results, the CDC announced early this week today.

The CDC wrote: “Influenza-like-illness (ILI) activity levels in parts of the country are already higher than all of last season.”

Health experts can’t pinpoint the reason why flu season appeared so early this year. However, reported cases and the number of hospitalization of patients are rising than they used to do; 2 children have already died from flu-related illness.

The flu strain than is circulating now is the same with the one in 2003-04 season. Also, in that year, there was significantly high number of reported flu cases, hospitalizations and deaths among children and seniors.

The good news is health authorities are getting better in predicting the upcoming flu strains for each season.

The CDC informed that the vaccines that were used in 2003-04 season didn’t match to the circulating strain in that season, as well as those that are administered this year. With the new developments in medical technology, health authorities from all over the world are starting to get better in predicting the dominant strain for the upcoming flu season.

Another good news is that, there are more vaccines available this season that there were a decade ago.

There’s been a significant increase in the percentage of people who receive the annual flu shot, including pregnant women and health care workers as compared to 2003-04 season. The Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) published an article which says that, all health-care workers should take their annual flu shot to protect their patients better.

The CDC reports about 112 million Americans received the vaccine so far for this year.

Dr. Melinda Wharton from the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases said, “Increasing flu activity should be a wake-up call. For anyone who has put off vaccination: It’s time to get your flu vaccine now.”

FluView reports that, influenza activities are found to be very active along the south-central and southeast of the country. The bad news is, all signs are geared to the idea that the rest of the country will soon follow, making flu a serious health issue for the public.

The disease cause about 200,000 hospitalizations year after year, and may be the case of death for up to 49,000 individuals, says CDC.

CDC emphasizes that vaccination is still the best way to protect individuals from influenza. The efficacy of the shot depends on how the virus strain in circulation closely matches with it and the patient’s age.