MS has its 2nd pediatric flu death of season


"Even though fewer New Yorkers were hospitalized with influenza last week, New Yorkers must continue to be vigilant", said state Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker.

Flu cases continued to climb across NY state last week and hit the highest level since 2004, though hospitalizations dropped for the second consecutive week, the state Department of Health reported Thursday.

According to the latest CDC data, the percentage of outpatient visits attributed to influenza-like illness (ILI) - a key surveillance marker - dropped from 7.5% to 6.4% in the week ending February 17. Two children died - 6-year-old Emma Splan, of Norwalk, last weekend and 10-year-old Nico Mallozzi, of New Canaan, on January 14.

Could the nasty flu season in the US finally be winding down?

When it comes to flu related deaths, only pregnant women and pediatric deaths are reported to the state and the CDC.

Overall the vaccine has been 67 percent effective against the H1N1 flu virus that's also circulating, and 42 percent effective against flu B viruses.

The CDC recommends that everyone aged 6 months and older get a flu shot.

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"Anyone can get the flu and serious problems related to the flu can happen at any age, but for those at high risk of serious flu complications, getting vaccinated is especially important", Davis said. There have been 18 deaths since then, including the latest. The CDC confirmed 13 new pediatric deaths, bringing the season's total to 97.

In 2016, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's advisory committee on vaccines reported that FluMist was ineffective and advised against its use.

Influenza throughout Ocean County has been widespread since early December, the county department of health reported.

CT is still experiencing widespread flu activity.

"The Monmouth County Health Department would like to remind residents to wash their hands, cover their cough and stay home from work or school if they are sick", Impreveduto said.

"They have the same symptoms", she said.

Hospitalizations were still greatly associated with influenza A infection; 83.4% of all hospitalized flu cases were caused by influenza A. The hospitalization rate for people 50-64 years was 53.4 per 100,000.