Influenza Infection Show Signs Of Easing
Although influenza infections have spread to forty-eight states, it appears that the epidemic is gradually easing.
CDC head Dr. Tom Frieden indicated that this year’s influenza infection was above the average especially with the elderly population. The activity level in a number of areas in the US is still high although generally it is starting to ebb.
Even though the flu season for this year has reached its midpoint, the hospitalization rates are still expected to increase as the epidemic continues. So far 29 children have reportedly died due to complications of the influenza infections.
A good number of people died from influenza infection each year and the elderly population is the most affected from it. Around 90 percent of those who die from flu are people over sixty-five years old.
Complications from flu infections resulted to the death of nine children in the first half of January, bringing the total number of children who died for this season to 29. In comparison, only 34 children died during the 2011-2012 influenza season while 282 died in the 2009 – 2010 due to influenza infections.
Although there were reports of shortages in flu shots, Frieden indicated that it is still good to get flu shots.
Around 135 million vaccine doses are expected to be produced by flu vaccine manufacturers. However, they were able to increase the number by ten million doses. Frieden revealed that 129 million doses of flu shots are available for distribution to fight the influenza infections.
This indicates that the number of available vaccines against influenza infection is sufficient enough. FDA Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg revealed that Genentech of Roche Holding AG was given the authority to distribute around two million doses of the older 75 milligram capsule from its inventory to prevent any Tamiflu shortages.
The medication was already given FDA approval and is not considered outdated. The agency has allowed Genentech to distribute the reserve stocks in an effort to give people access to more medication against the influenza infection.
The liquid form of the drug was reportedly in short supply, Roche revealed last week. This medication is used for children who caught the influenza infection to reduce its symptoms.