5 new flu deaths match highest total since tracking began; sharp decline in lab-confirmed cases week-over-week
08 March, 2018, 02:10
The flu-related deaths of five more Arkansans, including two children under 19, were reported to the state Department of Health in the past week, raising the total death toll from this year's flu season to 184.
The number of flu-related hospitalizations and deaths since last fall have been off-the-charts high in Oklahoma, which is the reason for the move to offer the immunizations at no cost.
"We are clearly on the downturn, by all indicators", he said.
The flu season runs until May.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, the number of Americans with influenza-like illness dropped from 7.4 percent in early February to 5 percent.
The latest Georgia data continue to show the flu epidemic trending downward in the state. Included in the total are four pediatric deaths.
Additionally, there were 893 new cases added to the now 6,674 lab-confirmed instances of influenza, which is the highest since those numbers were tracked, which started during the 2004-2005 season. She tells WDET's Laura Weber-Davis she is cautiously optimistic the worse of this particularly unsafe strain of the flu could be behind us, now that the weather is beginning to warm up and people are spending less time cooped up in offices and close quarters.
Dr. Richard Wallace at UT Health North Campus Tyler said there's still a possibility of getting the flu. The restrictions, which prohibit children younger than 12 from visiting, remains in effect.
CDC officials are still recommending that unvaccinated people get the flu shot before the season's end.
In a statement, DPH Director Karyl Rattay said though her division believes the season has peaked, the flu will likely remain in the First State for a few more weeks.
Rising opioid overdose deaths have been linked to a falling USA life expectancy - it dropped in 2015 and again in 2016. Nationally, ER visits for suspected opioid overdoses went up for all regions, all age groups, men and women.
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