Each year, thousands of people are admitted to hospital emergency rooms for cases of influenza, and so far the 2013-2014 flu season isn’t shaping up to be any different. What does seem to be different, however, is who is being admitted. This year it’s young adults who seem to be suffering most from influenza symptoms.
There may be several reasons for this unexpected surge. Because children and senior citizens are known to be more vulnerable to the virus, many receive flu vaccinations each year. Young adults and middle-aged folks, on the other hand, are less likely to be vaccinated. Another theory, according to the University of Michigan Health System, is that many children may be experiencing enhanced immunity as a result of previous flu shots.
“In 2009, school-aged kids were hit pretty hard by H1N1, and if any of them still have some residual protection, they may possibly be a little more protected this year,” said Michael Jhung, M.D., medical officer in the flu division of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
So far, the influenza virus is considered “widespread” in 25 states and 20 additional regions of the U.S. While it hasn’t quite reached epidemic levels just yet, more instances are being reported at a substantial rate.
According to the CDC, 171 children died of flu in the past flu season, whereas the 2013-2014 has seen six flu-related child deaths so far. In the U-M hospital alone, however, there are over a dozen people infected with influenza currently on life support.
“Most have the H1N1 strain of flu,” the hospital said in a statement. “And as far as hospital staff can tell, these patients either didn’t get the flu vaccine at all – or didn’t get it in time to protect them fully.”
If someone in your family is experiencing flu symptoms, make sure they get the medical attention they need in order to become well. Doctors can prescribe medications that can help fight the potentially devastating effects of influenza.
FLAVORx makes medicinal flavorings that makes medicine easier for children to take. Ask your pharmacist about FLAVORx today.