An early, aggressive strain of the flu has attacked the United States as widespread reports have come in from 41 states. To date, 2,257 people have been hospitalized and 18 children had died from the strain, according to reports.
“I think we’re still accelerating,” Tom Skinner, a Center for Disease Control and Prevention spokesman, told reporters.
“It’s about five weeks ahead of the average flu season,” said Lyn Finelli, lead of the surveillance and response team that monitors influenza for the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. “We haven’t seen such an early season since 2003 to 2004.”
The most reported symptoms for this season’s flu strain include the following:
1. Cough – 19 percent
2. Sore throat – 16 percent
3. Fatigue – 15 percent
4. Headache – 14 percent
5. Body Ache – 10 percent
6. Fever - 7 percent.
The CDC reported that during the flu season of 2010-2011, vaccines were effective for close to 60 percent of all age groups combined. CDC officials did say that the vaccines used this year appear to be a good match for the two strains of influenza A and one of influenza B making their way around the country. The strain H3N2 is dominant so far this year, which means more serious illness.
Of the 15 million doses of vaccines produced for this flu season, some 127 million doses of flu vaccine have been distributed.