CDC reports widespread flu activity in 46 states

California has reported 27 deaths so far this flu-season and hospitals have begun turning patients away due to overcrowded emergency rooms

It noted the number of flu cases across Canada was rising.

Hospitals across the state, such as some medical centers in the Kaiser Northern California and UCLA Health systems, have reported unusually high numbers of patients with flu-like symptoms.

For example, the CDC reports that 46 states had widespread flu activity the last week of December.

Officials say this flu could be as bad as the 2014-2015 season, which was the most severe in years.

Pharmacies have been scrambling to restock their shelves with Tamiflu this flu-season.

"But you really don't know the peak until you're coming down the other side", she said.

The predominant strain found so far this season is H3N2, which causes more severe disease, more hospitalizations and more deaths than other strains, the Public Health Department said.

"Even though it is less effective than previous years it still has an efficacy level of 10 per cent for influenza A and we do have other strains circulating so within our vaccines three or four strains are covered so you can be covered for other strains of the flu as well", Said Dr. Waters.

The flu has also taken a toll on kids, with 195 people under age 18 admitted to hospital as of December 30.

In light of panic over reports of the vaccine's effectiveness, the CDC reported that it expects the American vaccine to be 32 percent effective against the H3N2 virus, but this week saw the flu become highly active in 21 states.

Across California and the rest of the USA, the widespread flu season has led to some temporary shortages of flu medications (such as Tamiflu) in certain pharmacies, according to the CDC.

It says the H3N2 canine virus is highly transmissible between dogs and has become widespread in parts of Asia and caused outbreaks in some USA locations, particularly in shelters.

"Patients may receive prescriptions for oseltamivir or zanamivir antiviral drugs". "I think the most important part of this is that patients can and should reach out to pharmacies to see what is available in their area".

The Health Department said this year's rate of infection is the third fastest in the last eight years.

Rather, he added, in some areas "distribution hasn't quite kept up with demand".

IN officials are urging Hoosiers to get their flu shots and take other precautions amid the surge in flu-related illnesses and deaths.

An estimated 9.2 million Americans have gotten sick with the flu each year since 2010.

As much as possible, avoid people who are sick.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth after touching something contaminated with germs.

The CDC says people can help limit the spread of the flu by washing hands often and disinfecting spots that are touched frequently.

In general, get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious foods to stay healthy.



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