Published: Fri, March 09, 2018
Health | By Jay Jacobs

Over 200 Oklahomans have died from the flu this season

Over 200 Oklahomans have died from the flu this season

"There were a significant number of cases this year, and outbreaks, and so we're still managing those", said Dr. Jason Cabaj, medical officer of health for the Calgary zone of Alberta Health Services.

Meanwhile, the confirmed death toll from this flu season increased to 118 from 98, the state's Department of Public Health reported.

A study of the impact of prior flu vaccination on effectiveness in the current season in Japanese schoolchildren found a significant association between reduced vaccine effectiveness (VE) against medically attended flu and repeated vaccination. Wake County reported four flu deaths for the week ending March 3, the same reporting period for the added deaths statewide.

While cases may be down, flu remains widespread, and health providers in the coalition are remaining vigilant. "I continue to urge people to take precautions to prevent contracting or spreading the flu".

More than 19,000 people have been hospitalized, making this year's flu season worse than last year's when 12,912 were hospitalized, according to state officials.

Cabaj said the flu vaccine target set by Alberta Health this season was 35 per cent of the population - a goal that hasn't yet been reached. Majority of deaths have been seen in ages 65 and older.

Cape Fear Valley Medical Center and Southeastern Regional Hospital restricted visitors in late January because of the flu. The health department reported a spike in ER visits for ages 5-18 for the week ending February 9. That's the highest level since the swine flu pandemic in 2009.

The number of patients showing up at CT emergency rooms has dropped for the fourth week in a row.

Mecklenburg County does not report flu statistics until the end of the season.

Cabaj said the effectiveness of the flu vaccine against the dominant strain has been lower than health officials would like.

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