After a slow start, the beginning of the influenza influenza. There. The good news is that it is unlikely to be as bad as the last time nearly 80,000 Americans died. The bad news is that there is a long way to go.
During the last week of December, some 4.1 percent of the doctor visited the US. There. Were because of flu-like illness, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's weekly report known as Fluewiew. In terms of severity, this is right in the middle of the four, before flew seasons.
Hardest hit so far was the southern US. There are about ten state sweeps from South Carolina all the way to New Mexico and even up to Utah. Another pocket of virulence is growing in New Jersey and New York City. So far, it was minimal to low levels of illness across most of the northern hemisphere.
But there were several months left.
"It is also soon to say which direction it will go," said Lindette Brammer, head of the CDC's domestic influenza surveillance team. Influenza usually picks between December and February, and there is no exact way to call the tip, she said.
"We know we're going up now, we just don't know when it'll come down," she said in a telephone interview.
Still, there are positive signs compared to recent epidemics. This season started a little more slowly and it didn't pick up as fast as last year, Brammer said. The dominant Strain currently circulating, called H1N1, is less likely to affect the elderly – mainly a fake group – and it tends to be more sensitive to vaccination. The dominant tension circulating last year, the H3N2, was especially hard to keep.
"Last year was a record bad year," said Brammer. "Our mortality review was one of the highest, if not the highest we've seen."
Hospitals are setting tents and triage units in parking lots, as the more aggressive tension taken across the country. While the virus itself is no more dead than normal, it was just getting more of it circulating, she said.
A slow period this year will be good news for insurers. Seven of the largest US There. Companies reported paying nearly half a billion dollars because of last season's flu, according to Jason McGorman, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence.
"It wasn't that it was a particularly bad virus that if you got it you were more likely to die than in previous years. There are just a lot of cases," Brammer said of last time. "When you have a lot more people become ill, you have more people who are hospital and more people who die."
That's not happening this year – so far. The number of deaths in the US There. Attributed to pneumonia and 6.1 percent influenza in the end of December 22, under the epidemic threshold, the CDC reported. So, 11 children died in this season because of an influenza-related illness.
That emphasizes the most critical piece of information at this point, Brammer said. "The main thing now is to get vaccinated," she said. "There is still a lot of flu season to come."