Influenza News Update 2014: H1N1 Cases Increasing Rapidly in Southern US
Disturbing reports on the rapid increase of H1N1 cases in U.S. southern states have authorities struggling to cope with the situation and remedy the problem, according to Liberty Voice.
The respiratory illness is contagious and deadly, with the Texas Department of State Health Services reporting 25 influenza deaths, while North Carolina has documented 13 deaths as of this writing. Salt Lake City health officials have confirmed two deaths, while New York health authorities say there are now more than 40 cases of influenza infection in the state's 62 counties. Children are most especially vulnerable to influenza infection; CDC data reveal six young children have already succumbed to the disease.
Red Orbit notes that the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has received reports of widespread cases of flu activity engulfing more than half of the U.S. The rapid increase is alarming, as statistics show that H1N1 is 'making up more than half of the cases so far reported.' Cases of infection are especially high in Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington state and Wyoming.
CDC's Dr. Joe Bresee says, "We are seeing a big uptick in disease in the past couple of weeks. The virus is all around the United States right now; there is still a lot of season to come. If folks haven't been vaccinated, we recommend they do it now," according to Reuters.
Working as the Chief of Epidemiology and Prevention in the CDC's Influenza Division Dr. Bressee especially recommends that children be vaccinated with the flu shot. The Blaze quotes the doctor as saying that, "It's important that parents get their children vaccinated." He then cited a CDC study authored by Karen K. Wong entitled, "Influenza-Associated Pediatric Deaths in the United States, 2004-2012," that detailed the disturbing discovery that healthy children are "just as susceptible to death as children with underlying factors." The sad part is that a significant amount of cases (35%) studied by Wong showed that young patients died even before they were brought to the hospital for admittance.
Health officials are hoping that with aggressive health alerts across the country, the spread of the influenza virus may be competently managed, and deaths would be prevented.