CDC: Nasty flu season appears to be easing up

CDC: Nasty flu season appears to be easing up

Twelve people died from the flu between February 25 and March 3, bringing the total number of flu deaths in the state to 276, according to data released by health officials on Thursday.

The uncommonly harsh flu season claimed another seven lives in CT in recent days, but the worst of the outbreak appears to be over, health officials announced Thursday.

It seems the worst has finally passed in regard to flu activity in SC.

A total of 276 people have died as a result of the virus since the flu season began October 1.

Flu is a contagious, viral illness that causes mild to severe symptoms that can sometimes lead to death.

The flu has been spreading quickly in California - and it's not over yet. "Overall vaccine efficacy improves with the newer technologies if their quicker manufacturing times are combined with government-provided seed virus submissions from increased surveillance at the global level for mutations in the antigenic target of flu vaccines", said Gilbert Saint Jean, PhD, healthcare analyst at GlobalData, in a company press release.

Type A flu, which has been more severe, was more common earlier in the season, but there have been more cases of less-severe Type B as the season progressed. Sequiris, a leading influenza vaccine maker, has received FDA approval for its quadrivalent influenza vaccine, Flucelvax, which is an all-cell-based candidate vaccine virus (CVV) derived from mammalian cells. The latest stats show more than 43-hundred hospitalizations and 228 deaths in this record year.

Nordlund said the CDC is not concerned about this.

And the numbers support the lack of concern.

Mandating flu shots briefly became an issue last fall when a large Midwest system, Essentia Health, mandated vaccinations and fired 69 employees who didn't comply or qualify for a rare exemption. The deaths were associated with H3N2, H1N1 and influenza B strains - "all of the different types of influenza are causing these deaths", Jernigan noted.

"As along as flu is circulating, people should - if they have not already - still get their flu vaccine", she said.

Dr. Paul Cosford, medical director and head of health protection at PHE, said last week: "In order to prevent the spread of flu, it is important to practice good respiratory and hand hygiene and to avoid close contact with others who have flu symptoms". Anyone at higher risk should see their doctors if they feel ill, the CDC recommends.