CDC update on widespread influenza activity

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Latest updates from the CDC show that the flu season is set to make all-high records and it hasn't even peaked yet.

According to the most recent CDC report for the last week of January, ten percent of all deaths in the country were related to the flu.

"With the CDC reporting that we've not yet reached the peak of flu season and the potential for flu activity for several more weeks, we're following the situation closely and making every effort to have flu shots available in all of our pharmacies", says Jocelyn Konrad, Rite Aid executive vice president of pharmacy.

Although most flu-related deaths are among the older demographics, a vast majority of flu cases are among younger Hoosiers.

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

"The tragic death of a child due to the flu is a reminder of the devastating effects this illness can have on people of all ages", the New York City Health Department said in a statement to ABC News.

Speaking on Friday, acting CDC director Dr Anne Schuchat said: 'Influenza-like illnesses are now as high as we observed at the peak of the 2009 pandemic'.

"The last severe season that we had, 56,000 Americans died from influenza". Almost 83 percent of influenza-like illness reported to the ISDH involve individuals age 24 or younger.

Although deaths among children - at 63 kids - and adults have not been extremely high, it is possible they could increase in line with hospitalization rates, she said. According to Schuchat, the proportion of deaths attributed to pneumonia and influenza is 10.1% this week.

"Unfortunately, flu can spread rapidly in communal settings like classrooms and nursing homes, but no one is immune from the flu", Dr. Box said. B strains accounted for 30% of tested viruses last week.

Recent reports reveal that patients are contracting two strains of the flu.

Crystal Whitley, who teaches in Mullin, got the flu shot in October after giving birth to her son, family members told ABC affiliate WFAA.

A 58-year-old mother from Forth Worth, Texas who was diagnosed with two different flu strains this season died on February 3 due to complications. She survived her first bout with flu after receiving medication but exactly one month after, she was sick again with flu and pneumonia and her health steadily deteriorated.

"There is a lot of fear and alarm about this flu season", Schuchat said.

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