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Vincent Iannelli, M.D.

Flu Season Continues

By January 18, 2013

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"Flu is so variable."

That should likely be the take away message from today's CDC "Telebriefing on Flu Season," and not that "We're in the middle of flu season," or stats on how many people are sick.

Understanding that flu is so variable should also reinforce the importance of getting a flu vaccine to get protected for the rest of this year's flu season. Will flu season continue at high levels for some time or has it already peaked? As much as people try to compare each flu season to past flu season, since flu is so variable, it really is impossible to predict what will come next, except to maybe give a best guess.

The CDC is reporting:

  • widespread flu activity in 48 states, up from 47 states last week
  • 29 pediatric flu deaths, including 9 new deaths in the past week

Although this all adds up to a bad flu season, the CDC has also stated that "no unusual disease patterns among children have been detected to date and CDC's recommendations for pediatricians for the prevention and treatment of influenza among children remain unchanged." That should be reassuring to parents who are getting more and more worried with each flu update they hear about.

Parents should also remember that it isn't too late to get their kids a flu vaccine and that Tamiflu is a good option to treat high risk kids with the flu, especially if they are diagnosed early.

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