US flu outbreak is worst since 2009 swine pandemic

From BBC - January 26, 2018

More Americans are seeking medical care for flu than at any time since the "swine" pandemic of nearly a decade ago, say US health officials.

Thirty-seven children have died and nearly 12,000 patients have been admitted to hospital nationwide.

The outbreak could surpass 2014-15 when 34 million Americans fell ill, says the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

In that season, 710,000 people were admitted to hospital and 56,000 died.

The director of the CDC, Dr Daniel Jernigan, said thousands of people were going to doctor's offices and emergency rooms to seek treatment for flu-like symptoms.

"This is the highest level of activity recorded since the 2009 pandemic," he said.

All 50 states excluding Hawaii are reporting "widespread" flu activity.

A 12-year-old boy in Florida, described by his family as a healthy child, became one of the latest to die from the virus.

Dylan Winnick died on Tuesday a day after developing a fever, according to stunned family members.

In 2014-15 the number of child deaths from flu reached 148.


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