Influenza Epidemic Stifling U.S.

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By Collin Myers, Technical Writer/Marketing Assistant

Over the past month, the influenza virus has been wreaking havoc all across the U.S., leaving thousands of people home sick and flooding emergency rooms. So far in 2013, CDC numbers show that 20 children have died from the virus, while the number of states impacted by the virus has increased from 41 to 47 since December, edging the nation closer and closer to epidemic proportions.

The CDC recommends that getting a flu vaccine is the best method of defense against this year’s nasty influenza strain. According to recent data, the vaccine has shown to have been effective for roughly 60% of all age groups. Other recommended precautions include routinely washing your hands and avoiding public places (schools, malls, and work) where others may be sick and highly contagious.

A year ago, during the 2011-2012 flu season, there were a total of 34 pediatric deaths, a number that was abnormally mild when compared to most other seasons (there were 282 flu-related pediatric deaths during the more severe 2009-2010 season). There is no certifiable data available that shows how many children have received flu shots this season, but in past years, the numbers have fallen far short of the common recommendation that everyone 6 months and older be vaccinated. Read the full story here

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