Hospitals struggle to keep pace as flu outbreak peaks

Eastern Health

Eastern Health

The NC Department of Health and Human Services said the report issued listed four deaths, bringing the total to 26 for this flu season.

There were 128 positive flu tests during the same period in 2016, health officials said. Compared to the 2016-2017 flu season, there were 1,109 total cases and 275 weekly cases reported for the same time period previous year.

The prevalent strain circulating the state is classified as influenza A (H3N2), and is associated with more severe cases requiring hospitalization and death among seniors and young children than other strains.

If you haven't gotten your flu shot yet, officials say it is not too late.

Even though the vaccine may not be well matched, it doesn't mean you shouldn't get a flu shot, CDC officials say. The last time Arizona saw a surge in flu cases and deaths was in 2009, when the H1N1 strain broke out, which led to the deaths of over 900 Arizonans.

"If the significant percentage of this population hasn't been vaccinated you have a greater number of individuals that are susceptible to influenza", Echols said.

For those at high risk of serious flu complications, getting vaccinated is especially important. "As of this last month, manufacturers reported they shipped more than 151 million doses of flu vaccine, so it should be readily available". "Additionally, MSDH has received reports from hospitals across the state that are experiencing increased admissions to ICUs and increased visits to emergency departments which have hospitals operating at full capacity".

"We are very well aware that we need to have better flu vaccines", Jernigan said.

Officials say visits to L.A. County emergency rooms for influenza symptoms are more than twice as high as they were at the same time a year ago.

"Nationally, the flu season may be peaking now", said Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald, the director of the CDC, during the media briefing.

Chen tells FOX 12 that in order to avoid overcrowding, patients should call their doctors as soon as they get flu-like symptoms.

Flu symptoms can include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Through small droplets from people who are talking, coughing or sneezing.

Latest News