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30 December 2017, 01:36 | Lucy Hill
Flu activity for the week ending Dec. 23 2017
In light of panic over reports of the vaccine's effectiveness, the CDC reported that it expects the American vaccine to be 32 percent effective against the H3N2 virus, but this week saw the flu become highly active in 21 states.
"We still have a few more months ahead in this season".
Based on numbers provided by the state health department, the flu typically peaks around the third week of February.
A maximum of two visitors per patient and no visitors under the age of 18 is requested.
The South and West reported seeing the highest rates of patients with flu-related symptoms.
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In addition, a total of 12 influenza-associated pediatric deaths for the 2017-2018 season have been reported.
Dr. Ifeoma Achebe, medical officer of health with AHS Central Zone, said there were only four flu-related deaths this time past year in Alberta, 1,026 cases, and 259 in hospital. Analysis of a subset of H3N2 viruses shows extensive genetic diversity with many clades and subclades circulating, a lot of them similar to a cell-propagated reference virus that is a component of Northern Hemisphere flu vaccines. "Madera Community Hospital, along with thousands of hospitals across the United States are asking, during flu season, only immediate family and no children to visit hospitalized patients and if you are ill please refrain from visiting", Dr. Roshan added.
Though H3N2 is the dominant strain, Canada is seeing a substantially greater number of influenza B illnesses for this time of year compared to past seasons.
To protect pediatric patients, mothers and newborns from flu viruses circulating in our region, all Samaritan Health Services hospitals will limit visitors in birthing centers, beginning January 4.
At sentinel healthcare sites, the percentage of respiratory specimens that tested positive for flu rose from 28% to 32% compared to the previous week.
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