Severity of Flu Season Passes Peak but Remains Deadly

DPH: Flu hits Georgia hard

This breaks the previous record of 28 deaths during the 2014-2015 season. There have been no pediatric flu-related deaths this season reported to the NDDoH. Doctor's visits for flu-like symptoms are also dropping, down from 5% the week before to 3.7%. This season, the levels of influenza-like illness, which is a measure based on outpatient visits and emergency department visits, reached levels as high as at the peak of the 2009 H1N1 flu pandemic. The free flu vaccine is available to everyone 4years of age and older. At the same time past year there were 4,888 flu cases reported. There was one new, non-influenza outbreak last week, compared to 10 total outbreaks the week before (4 Influenza A, 3 Influenza B, and 3 non-Influenza cases).

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"That means people who were vaccinated should not consider themselves invincible for this season", said lead researcher Dr. Danuta Skowronski, an infectious diseases expert at the BC Center for Disease Control. The flu can be especially unsafe to young children, older people and those who are immunocompromised. "The NIAID has made the development of universal influenza vaccines a high priority, and in this regard, has begun a concerted effort to galvanize research in the field". "However, the reality of such a vaccine is likely to still be many years away", Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in prepared remarks to the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

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