Flu season tough for older people this year in US

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An unusually severe flu season is exacting a heavy toll on older people in New York and across USA. This year’s edition of influenza is hitting the elderly hard, putting many in hospitals, even as overall flu activity is showing signs of slowing down.

“We’re in the middle of flu season, about halfway through, and it’s shaping up to be worse than average and a bad season particularly for the elderly,” CDC Director Thomas Frieden, MD, MPH, said at a noontime media briefing.

“Last week hospitalization rates increased sharply in people 65 and over, and this week they increased sharply again, going up to 82 per 100,000, which is quite a high rate,” he said, referring to numbers in the CDC’s weekly flu activity update. The cumulative all-ages hospitalization rate is 18.8 per 100,000.

30 states in US reported high flu activity, up from 24 states the previous week. Another 10 states cited moderate activity, with the rest reporting minimal or low numbers. Cases were geographically widespread in 48 states.

Deaths attributed to pneumonia and flu were at 8.3% last week, exceeding last week’s 7.3% and the epidemic threshold for this time of year, also 7.3%, the CDC said.

Nine pediatric deaths reported last week were attributed to flu, raising this season’s total to 29

Latest Influenza update by WHO:

? Influenza activity in North America remained high with some indications that activity might have peaked in areas. Some but not all indicators of severity in the United States of America and Canada have been slightly higher than in previous recent seasons. The onset of the season was earlier than usual and coincided with circulation of other respiratory viruses. Influenza A(H3N2) predominates in North America with A(H1N1)pdm09 being uncommon.

? Many countries in Europe and temperate Asia are reporting increasing influenza activity with A(H1N1)pdm09 being relatively more prominent in Europe than in North America.

? Some countries in the Eastern Mediterranean and the North Africa have reported declining detections of influenza positive samples. Influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 is predominant in the region.

? In tropical Asia, the influenza activity is similar to previous weeks, with persistent low-level circulation.

? Influenza activity in sub-Saharan Africa has declined in most countries.

? In the Caribbean, central America and tropical south America, influenza activity decreased to low levels, except for Bolivia, where there is increasing circulation of influenza A(H3N2)

? Influenza in countries of the southern hemisphere are currently at inter-seasonal levels

If you are looking for a safe and reliable alternative treatment for the flu then perhaps homeopathy is for you, says Dr. Anil Singhal, MD.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, USA

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