CDC: Flu Spreads To 47 States, But May Be Starting To Wane
NBCNEWS.COM - Flu activity remains high across the United States, but there are signs this year's bad season may be waning in some areas, government health officials said Friday.
Forty-seven states reported widespread flu activity as of the week ending Jan. 5, up from 41 the previous week. Twenty-four states and New York City reported high levels of flu-like illness, but that was down from 29 states and NYC the week before, according to new data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Still, flu is unpredictable and illness could rebound or worsen, said CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden.
"Truly, only the next week or two will show whether we have, in fact, crossed the peak," Frieden told reporters in a conference call. "Nationally, it's likely that influenza will continue for several more weeks."
Flu activity was elevated all across the U.S., except in the region that includes Arizona, California, Guam, Hawaii and Nevada, the new report showed.
More than 3,700 people have been hospitalized for the flu since October, and 20 children have died, the CDC says. Most of the hospitalizations have been in people older than 65.
Vaccines given to fight this year's flu appear to be about 62 percent effective overall , according to data from some 1,155 children and adults with acute respiratory infections. Of people who got the flu, 32 percent were vaccinated. CDC officials characterize that level as "moderate" effectiveness and infection control experts say it's about what they expect from the shots.
"That's normal," said Dr. William Schaffner, chairman of the department of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn. "It's a good but not a perfect vaccine."
This year's vaccines appear to be about 55 percent effective against influenza A strains, which are responsible for most illness and more severe cases, and about 70 percent effective against influenza B, which is usually less serious, the report showed.
That helps explain why some people who've received flu shots -- which are recommended for everyone older than six months -- say they've still gotten sick. It argues in favor of using antiviral drugs such as Tamiflu to help bolster vaccine effectiveness, or VE, CDC's report said.
early VE estimates underscore that some vaccinated persons will become
infected with influenza; therefore, antiviral medications should be used
as recommended for treatment in patients, regardless of vaccination
status," the report concluded.
Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>
KHQ.COM - The National Council for Home Safety and Security has released the safest cities in Washington for 2018... and Spokane did not impress. To determine the order of the ranking the Council used data on the number of reported violent crimes and property crimes for every thousand people and also reviewed the most recent FBI Uniform Crime report. Spokane ranked almost dead last coming in at number 79 (there were only 80 cities on the list).>>
KHQ.COM - French ice dancer Gabriella Papadakis' costume has come unhooked at the neckline, exposing her breast, during her performance at the Pyeongchang Olympics. The first notes of Ed Sheeran's "Shape of You" had just played Monday when Papadakis suddenly became aware that people were about to see a whole lot more of her shape than she had planned. She calls it her "worst nightmare happening at the Olympics.">>
MASSILLON, Ohio (AP) - A school official in Ohio says a middle school student apparently shot himself after bringing a gun to school. Police say Jackson Middle School, near Massillon, is on lockdown Tuesday and that the students and staff are safe. The school official tells The Independent newspaper that the student is being treated at a hospital. Authorities and school officials haven't released any other details about the shooting.>>
Managers of Spokane Valley motel, 6 others arrested on drug and property crime charges following two-month investigation
SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. - A two-month investigation into criminal activity at the Red Top Motel in Spokane Valley resulted in a massive raid and the arrest of 8 people early Tuesday morning. The Red Top Motel has had more than 100 calls for service since the beginning of the year, with many of those calls resulting in the arrest of known criminals who commonly traffic in drugs and stolen property.>>
SPOKANE, Wash. - A Spokane woman is speaking out after she was dragged about 20 feet by a car, and nearly run over, after purse snatching. Kathy Kohlieber broke her pelvis and had to be sent to Multicare Valley Hospital. She’s been there since the incident Saturday evening around 5 p.m. Kathy says she went to Walmart, “to get a bag of Cosmos caramel corn, which is so good.”>>
Check out the latest closures and delays from around the Inland Northwest.>>
Click here for a list of school closures and delays.>>