Centers for Disease Control: High level of flu reports in 29 states
(CBS News) The flu started early and the virus is spreading rapidly. In an update Friday, the Centers for Disease Control reports a high level of flu activity in 29 states and a moderate level in nine others. Health officials say it's not too late to get vaccinated. We look at who should get the flu shot.
Seventeen-year-old Max Schwolert came down with the flu. Later, he took a turn for the worse and was soon airlifted to a Minnesota hospital.
"It was really just a snowball effect over several days," said Phil Schwolert, Max's uncle. "Doctors made a few brief periods of some progress but just were never really able to get ahead of things and his body honestly just couldn't keep up."
The flu virus can weaken a person's natural defenses. Max, who did not get a flu shot, developed a bacterial infection and pneumonia. It caused his organs to shut down. He died on Dec. 29.
"Influenza causes death often through its complications, said Lyn Finelli, who tracks flu for the CDC. "Especially in the elderly, influenza causes death through pneumonia and through exacerbation of chronic underlying conditions."
Eighteen children have died from influenza-related illnesses since the flu season began.
"It's an extremely early flu season," said Finelli. "In fact, we're about five weeks ahead of schedule this year."
Since 2010, the CDC has recommended flu shots for everyone over the age of six months. Yet only 37 percent of Americans have been vaccinated this season, which is about average.
I asked the CDC what is the number one misconception that people have about the flu. They said it's the mistaken belief that the flu vaccine can give you the flu. The CDC said it cannot -- it can give you a reaction, you might have some aches and pains and low-grade fever, but that should go away in a day or two. They said it's especially important this year when it's such an active flue to get vaccinated -- they said it's the number one way to prevent the flu.
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by AnonymousJanuary 5, 2013 at 4:14 PMThe number one ways to prevent the flu is to avoid people with the flu, wash hands frequently, and sanitize common environmental carriers of viruses and bacteria ( door knobs, railings, light switches...etc).
by AnonymousJanuary 5, 2013 at 4:15 PMEhhh keep a healthy diet, wash your hands and you'll be ok.
by Anonymous - Original PosterJanuary 5, 2013 at 4:18 PM
We always get our flu shot every year. And if I had not, I would be out getting one now.
But that's just my opinion. No one needs to get all nasty with me if they don't want to. I don't care if you or your kids get one or not.
by Anonymous - Original PosterJanuary 5, 2013 at 5:11 PM
Oh no! I'm sorry about the heart issues. That must be super scary for you. Wishing him and you all good health!
thats so sad :(..my little guy is at increased risk bc he has heart issues so i def. got him vaxed
by Anonymous - Original PosterJanuary 5, 2013 at 5:39 PM
Same. I have so many homeopathic and natural remedies and medicines for pretty much everything including the end of the world. Lol. And I am not afraid to take my son to the childrens hospital if a problem should arise or to walk ins at his ped ...
Why is it so deadly now? Or has it always been?
I never even heard of the flu shot until a few years ago.
we don't vax against the flu and I have no plan to.