As February comes to an end, many may think flu season is behind us. However, that doesn't seem to be the case this year. In fact, the flu seems to be worse than usual. According to CNN Health, young people are having an especially hard time overcoming the virus.1 While generally infants and seniors seem to struggle the most when it comes to the flu, those ages 18 to 64 make up 61 percent of all influenza-related hospitalizations this season – this is up from 35 percent in years past.
The source reported that flu levels are listed as high, according to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, in the following states:
- New York
CBS Baltimore also reported on the current flu strain hitting teens and young adults hard.
"Even though the recommendation is that everybody should get the flu shot, most likely children and the elderly are more likely to get vaccinated, whereas young adults often don't get vaccinated," Dr. Melissa Denham, a physician at Patient First, explained to the source.2
Most years, nearly 50 percent of children and 60 percent of seniors are vaccinated for influenza. However, only 33 percent of those age 18 to 64 are administered a flu shot. It is likely that this is the main cause of their falling ill this year.
The Sacramento Bee reported on Friday, February 21, that there have been a number of deaths due to the flu this season. In fact, the source cited that 2 of every 100,000 Sacramento County residents younger than 65 have died from the virus so far.3 In total, there have been 278 deaths.
"The best way to prevent influenza is by getting vaccinated," Dr. Ron Chapman, director of the California Department of Public Health, told the source. "The influenza season continues and it's not too late for vaccination."
1 CNN Health, "Flu hitting young people harder this year" February 20, 2014
2 CBS Baltimore, "Flu hits Md. teens, young adults especially hard this year" February 23, 2014
3 The Sacramento Bee, "California reports another 35 flu deaths; Sacramento among hot spots" February 21, 2014