The Oklahoma State Department of Health says 228 people have died due to the flu since September 1, up from 194 a week ago. The age group is responsible for 143 of the state's 201 flu deaths since October.
The flu expert warned that factory farms, which he called "fetid incubators of disease" are the main source of these flu strains. So far this season the CDC has confirmed 119 pediatric deaths. The flu virus is constantly changing its outer coat to avoid detection by the human body's immune system.
The week of the report, the State Hygienic Laboratory at the University of Iowa, which is the primary lab for influenza testing and reporting, detected 16 influenza "A" viruses and 42 influenza "B" viruses.
Federal health officials decided last week on which influenza strains to include in the vaccine for next season.
"On the down side, we'd certainly like to see that number always higher than it is".
"Another case a wife nearly went mad because she was suffering from flu, couldn't move and next to her was her dead husband". "However, the reality of such a vaccine is likely to still be many years away", Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in prepared remarks to the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
"People tried in 2009 with screening at airports but it doesn't work because people are infectious for around four days before they get symptoms".
But Dr. Daniel Jernigan, director of the agency's influenza division, stressed last month that getting the flu shot is still worthwhile, especially for kids. Influenzavirus A, which also circulates in birds and can move between species, is responsible for most flu infections and causes the deadliest pandemics - including the 1918-19 Spanish Flu that killed as many as 100 million people. He also recommends the usual commonsense measures of covering your mouth when you cough, washing your hands and contacting your physician if your condition doesn't improve.
"Anytime I walk into a patient's room, any time I walk out, I wash my hands (and) sanitize them", he said.
In a 12-2 vote, the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices said that providers should be able to offer FluMist Quadrivalent (MedImmune) during the 2018-2019 influenza season, reversing its last two recommendations.
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