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Severe Flu Strain Leaves 18 Children Dead, Getting Worse

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    Sheyda Upshaw reacts to receiving a flu shot from nurse Jan Woelffer as the girl's mother, Amy Upshaw, looks away at the Flu-Central vaccination clinic in Lakewood, Colo., in this Dec. 10, 2003 file photo. (Photo: AP / Jack Dempsey, File)
By Brittney R. Villalva, Christian Post Reporter
January 6, 2013|8:59 am

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has reported that this year's flu season is the worst for years, and that the situation could decline further still.

Two strains of the flu have continued to pass across the United States with at least 29 states reporting an increased level of flu activity over the past week. The disease has affected 41 states thus far.

"I think we're still accelerating," Tom Skinner, a CDC spokesman, told NBC News.

At least 18 children have died from complications arising from the flu. Doctors have stated that this particular bout of the flu is the worst in over a decade and are advising patients to get their flu shots.

"We've run out of our influenza tests cases and actually had to get them Fed Ex-ed in every two days to keep up with the demand," Dr. Richard Elsey, who works the Concentra urgent care in North Corolina, told WBTV. "If you get the flu shot now, you'll be protected within two weeks so you can still avoid getting the flu later on in the season."

At least 10 percent of emergency room visits last week were due to flu like symptoms according to the CDC. The dominant flu strain this year has been H3N2, which can be more dangerous for children.

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 "In years past when we have seen an H3N2 dominate, we tend to see more severe illness in young kids and the elderly," Skinner said.

Skinner also advocated for people to still get a vaccination, although this late in the season they may be harder to find.

"It's not too late to get vaccinated," Skinner said

Those who are interested in researching where the flu is currently making the most impact can visit the site FluNearYou.org. Coordinated by the Children's Hospital Boston, it was developed to proved the most up to date information on where the flu is currently spreading.

 

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