News / Health

US Flu Season Hits 47 States

Four-year-old Gabriella Diaz sits as registered nurse Charlene Luxcin (R) administers a flu shot at the Whittier Street Health Center in Boston, Massachusetts, January 9, 2013. Boston declared a public health emergency and the state reported 18 flu-relateFour-year-old Gabriella Diaz sits as registered nurse Charlene Luxcin (R) administers a flu shot at the Whittier Street Health Center in Boston, Massachusetts, January 9, 2013. Boston declared a public health emergency and the state reported 18 flu-relate
x
Four-year-old Gabriella Diaz sits as registered nurse Charlene Luxcin (R) administers a flu shot at the Whittier Street Health Center in Boston, Massachusetts, January 9, 2013. Boston declared a public health emergency and the state reported 18 flu-relate
Four-year-old Gabriella Diaz sits as registered nurse Charlene Luxcin (R) administers a flu shot at the Whittier Street Health Center in Boston, Massachusetts, January 9, 2013. Boston declared a public health emergency and the state reported 18 flu-relate
VOA News
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the worst influenza epidemic in the United States in a decade might be easing in some places.  

The CDC flu advisory report released Friday finds widespread outbreaks in 47 states, up from 41 last week, but with fewer states reporting high levels of influenza-like illness.  

CDC Director Tom Frieden, speaking to reporters Friday, said that follows a common pattern.

“Generally we do see flu roll across the country as it rolls across the globe and spreads to the West. So it’s not unexpected to see it start in the South and Southeast and then spread gradually to the West,” he said.

Influenza Pandemics of the 20th Century

  • 1918 Spanish Flu: Killed more than 500,000 people in the U.S., and 20 million to 50 million people worldwide.
  • 1957 Asian Flu: Killed roughly 70,000 people in the U.S.
  • 1968 Hong Kong Flu: First detected in Hong Kong, this virus caused roughly 34,000 deaths in the U.S.
Frieden said cases in the U.S. South and Southeast appear to be declining because the illness already has peaked in those regions. Adult mortality from seasonal flu outbreaks, which typically reaches the tens of thousands each year in the U.S., is not reported until the end of the season. But the CDC's weekly analysis finds that deaths among children younger than 18 years of age rose by two, bringing the total number of pediatric deaths to 20 so far this season.    

Joseph Bresee, who heads the CDC's Influenza Division, said Friday that the vaccine developed to combat the most prevalent strains of flu is “62 percent effective.” That means that almost four in 10 people who get the vaccine and are exposed to the virus will still become infected. Bresee says the vaccine's performance is on par with other recent vaccines.
 
“We’d love to it to be better, but it is a substantial public health benefit for the population,” said Bresee.

The CDC recommends that everyone over the age of six months get a flu shot.

The federal public health agency says the percentage of people going to the hospital for treatment of flu symptoms has doubled in the past month. In some regions, hospitals are having to turn flu patients away.

The mayor of Boston declared a public health emergency Wednesday, with 10 times more cases reported compared to last year in the northeastern U.S. city.

U.S. health authorities say the flu arrived a month earlier than usual this year, in November, and the most prevalent flu strain - H3N2 - has a reputation for causing fairly severe illness, especially in the elderly.

You May Like

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Anonymous
January 12, 2013 1:36 AM
Recall the indisputable fact that a successful fight against biological viruses is possible only strengthening the biological immunity.
One of the cheapest and most effective means available to the masses, especially in this time of severe economic crisis, just eating raw garlic in quantity between one and three bulbs per 24 h.
For example on link:
http://home.howstuffworks.com/garlic3.htm

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs