United States Flu Update - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

12/3/03

United States Flu Update

The Centers for Disease Control confirms widespread outbreaks of the Flu in ten states now, with some activity in all states but seven. And those higher than normal numbers include more than 12 deaths in children, mainly in Colorado, with a few in Texas and New Mexico.

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Kids are a big concern because they have less immunity from this potentially deadly illness. So, why such a rough start to what already seems like a worse flu season this year? The CDC says that is likely due to the strain of flu, Type A, which is typically more sever than the others.

"When we look past over the last couple of decades, we see that in years in which this Type A, particularly type a h3n2 is the most common virus, that levels of severe illness and death can be higher in the country than with other viruses," said Dr. Keiji Fukuda, CDC.

In addition, Flu researchers have identified a mutation of that virus that is not covered by the vaccine. But the CDC stresses that because the mutation is from the Type "A" family, the vaccine should offer some protection and stress that a Flu shot or spray is still the best defense.

For more on the flu (click here) to log on to the CDC web site.

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