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article imageSecond wave of Flu hits U.S. kids hard this year

By Karen Graham     Feb 14, 2020 in Health
Washington - A second wave of flu is hitting the U.S., turning this into one of the nastiest seasons for children in a decade, reports the CDC. There have been 92 flu-related deaths in children this flu season.
The flu season got off to its earliest start in 15 years, beginning in October in parts of the Southern U.S. What was unusual was that most of these cases were a strain of flu usually seen in the spring or at the tail end of the flu season. That wave peaked in early December.
In the latter part of January, a second wave of the flu virus struck and last week saw another rise in the percentage of doctor's office visits that were due to flu-like illness, according to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC estimates that so far this season there have been at least 26 million flu illnesses, 250,000 hospitalizations and 14,000 deaths from flu.
The number of child deaths and the hospitalization rate for youngsters are the highest seen at this point in any season since the severe flu outbreak of 2009-10, health officials said Friday.
"We have not yet peaked for influenza. We are still on our way up,” Dr. David Weber, a University of North Carolina infectious-diseases specialist, said of the patient traffic in Chapel Hill, reports MSN News.
While the scale of the 1918-19 flu epidemic remains unparallelled  another pandemic is inevitable  e...
While the scale of the 1918-19 flu epidemic remains unparallelled, another pandemic is inevitable, experts say. Given the limitations of available drugs, flu-triggered respiratory diseases can claim up to 650,000 lives even in a non-pandemic year
LUIS ACOSTA, AFP/File
A bad time for an extended flu season
There are now concerns over the new coronavirus hitting at the same time as the U.S. experiences an extended flu season that is the worst in a decade, according to health officials. Flu symptoms and coronavirus symptoms are difficult to distinguish from each other without tests.
Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious-diseases expert at Vanderbilt University said if the coronavirus were to start spreading in the U.S - there could be confusion about whether people are getting sick with it or the flu
The Washington Examiner is reporting that five U.S. cities have begun testing people with flu-like symptoms to see if they might instead have the new coronavirus. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar announced the initiative on Thursday, and elaborated on it on NPR Friday,
The CDC will be working with health departments in Seattle, San Francisco, Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles to test people for coronavirus who show up to doctor's offices and hospitals with flu symptoms.
More about Flu season, Second wave, Children, two strains, coronavirus
 
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