83% Of Influenza-Like Illness In Younger Hoosiers; Deaths Reach 167 Statewide

Kristen Gonzales
February 15, 2018

This flu season is shaping up to be one of the toughest on record. A lot of them had underlying conditions such as heart, lung or immune system problems.

The number was even higher in Texas, with 14 percent of the deaths during that period being flu-related.

"The challenge however, is that the vaccine needs to be produced months before the flu season", Loeb explained.

Sirus Wheaton '19 said he did not receive the flu vaccine this year but did his best to prevent getting sick through other precautions.

This year's strain has been more severe in adults 65 and older and people under the age of 25, Mihalik said. In past seasons such as this, she said, an estimated 34 million Americans got the flu. After that, the anti-viral medication Tamiflu doesn't work.

There have also been a total of five pediatric deaths in Texas this season.

In that group 49 deaths were reported.

A government report from Friday revealed this year's flu epidemic is as bad as the swine flu epidemic in 2009.

The department confirmed the news during its monthly meeting on Tuesday.

Dr. Lyn Ranta
Dr. Lyn Ranta

Deaths due to flu in babies have been notifiable since 2004 and it is because of this that the CDC can keep tracks of the number of deaths and other details of the victims.

He says the vaccine isn't ideal and there's always an educated guess when it comes to making up the flu vaccine for that season.

"It is important for students to understand that it is less painful to get a flu shot than to miss important class assignments, tests, deadlines and campus activities after coming down with flu illness", Marshall said.

Flu cases have been mostly influenza A. Influenza is a contagious respiratory virus.

No! It's not too late for anyone who can get the vaccine to do so, whether it's the inactivated influenza vaccine (IIV) or the recombinant influenza vaccine (RIV).

Flu symptoms can be similar to a less-serious illness like the common cold, ranging from a sore throat and runny nose to vomiting, body aches, fevers, cough and extreme tiredness. Since then, reported numbers have ranged from 37 in the 2011-2012 season to 358 during the H1N1 pandemic season.

Despite the calls from health officials for people to get the flu vaccine, flaws and all, only 40 percent of the United States population had received the flu vaccination by November.

The study showed that adding thermometer data, which captures clinically relevant symptoms (temperature) likely even before a person goes to the doctor, to simple forecasting models, improved predictions of flu activity.

The flu season is still going strong and there's no end in sight.

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