February 14th, 2018
FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Feb. 14, 2018). – This has been a long and challenging influenza season, not only in the United States, but also here in Allen County. This flu season started the last few weeks of December and has been relentless since that time. The dominant circulating strain has been the Influenza A H3N2, but we are now seeing an increase in cases of Influenza B.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), hospitalizations are the highest they’ve been since the CDC started a new way of measuring them in 2010. And while flu usually hits people over 65 the hardest, the CDC says it’s seeing more people aged 50 to 64 being hospitalized. And more people are showing up with flu-like symptoms — 7.7 percent of all doctor visits, which hasn’t been seen since 2003-2004, with the exception of the H1N1 “swine flu” pandemic in 2009.
The CDC also reports some states in the west are seeing a second wave of illness caused by influenza B. This is important because people who have had flu once can get sick again from a second strain.
Dr. Deborah McMahan, Allen County Health Commissioner states, “We have already surpassed the total number of flu deaths we had last year and we are still experiencing widespread activity. It is not too late to get a flu shot – call your doctor or pharmacist to see if it is available. And remember, if you get a high fever and muscle aches, please call your doctor right away to see if you are a candidate for Tamiflu. Do it for you. Do it for your family.”