Hours before a failed congressional vote caused all manner of "nonessential" federal programs to shudder to a halt, a contingency plan said the CDC's "immediate response to urgent disease outbreaks, including seasonal influenza, would continue" under a shutdown.
"This year, right now, appears to be predominantly influenza AH3 season, which tends to be more severe and it tends to affect the elderly more than younger individuals, which means we see more hospitalizations and we see more deaths", said Maine CDC epidemiologist Sara Robinson. By comparison, smallpox killed an estimated 300 million people in the 20th century, The Plague killed 20 million people in a four-year period during the 1300s.
This year's virus is proving to be particularly aggressive.
The most common flu vaccine protects against three common strains of influenza, and there's plenty in supply for anyone still looking to get vaccinated.
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One of the first known outbreaks of Spanish Flu occurred in Kansas in 1918. All states except for Hawaii are reporting widespread flu activity, with 32 states reporting high flu activity.
Riverside Medical Center has temporarily restricted visitors age 17 and younger in an effort to prevent high-risk young people from contracting the virus.
With the 2018 flu season among the worst in recent memory, experts gathered to discuss and answer questions about the rampant outbreak of influenza in CT.
Flu vaccine discounts can be found here. The best way to prevent the flu is by getting the flu vaccine.More news: Leicester rival Manchester City in battle for Jonny Evans
According to the CDC, the flu is spread person-to-person and a person who is sick with the flu can give it to others from up to 6 feet away.
What ends a flu epidemic?
The reason vaccines are less than ideal is that the four strains of flu included in the vaccine must be chosen six months before the shots are given to allow time to cultivate and distribute the vaccines.
While this new discovery seems like a scary development, he says it's necessary to stop the flu once and for all.More news: As Shutdown Nears, Trump Says 'the Wall is the Wall'
Dr. Amesh Adalja, an infectious disease physician in Pittsburgh, says the H3N2 virus is "notorious for causing severe flu seasons". Of the 23 aerosol samples that were obtained without coughing, almost half (48 percent) contained detectable levels of flu virus, and eight samples (about 35 percent) contained infectious virus. "We have our staff working really hard to make sure all of our patients are getting the best care that they can and really in a safe manner".
Vaccines are only partially effective against this year's most prevalent strain, H3N2.
But, the New Haven Health Department is offering a solution: flu shots for residents at their office at 54 Meadow Street, Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m., to 5 p.m.
The recommendation is that people be vaccinated for the flu before the beginning of each flu season. Ideally, children would receive a universal flu vaccine and never need one again. Usually children, old people, pregnant women get flu or viral attack easily and as said earlier it happens because the immune system is weak.More news: Donald Trump insists he exercises after physician's concerns
So if you're still waiting to get a flu shot, don't.