Blereau: Still time to get flu shot
EDITOR’S NOTE — This is a reminder by local Centers for Disease Control Sentinel Physician Dr. Robert P. Blereau of Morgan City.
According to the CDC, flu cases are increasing in the United States.
A further increase of flu activity is expected in coming weeks. Visits to doctors in the United States for influenza-like symptoms are generally not above baseline.
Six states have reported widespread flu. Hospitalization rates for patients with confirmed flu are lower than reported at this time last year. Deaths from pneumonia and flu are within the level expected.
So far nationwide, five pediatric flu-related deaths have been reported this flu season.
Of all the flu viruses identified this season, 96 percent are type A and 4 percent are type B.
Several factors may be responsible for the overall less active 2011-12 flu season:
—This year’s flu strains are similar to last year.
—More people were vaccinated against the flu this year.
—Residual immunity from last year’s vaccinations.
—Mild winter in most of the U.S.
There is still time to get the flu vaccination to ward of the flu.