CDC gives update on flu season
ATLANTA - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sat down on Tuesday with medical professionals to talk about the current flu season.
The numbers are high with 20 infant deaths nationwide and hundreds more adults, five from Georgia. But the CDC said it is too early to tell if this season is bigger than usual.
"This year what we're seeing is called H3N2 and we know from past seasons when we look back over 10 to 15 years, this virus causes the most hospitalizations, more illnesses," said Dr. Alicia Fry, CDC Epidemiology & Prevention Branch, Influenza Division.
Which is why Tuesday, the CDC held one of their Grand Rounds to get medical professionals up to speed on what they're dealing with, especially when it comes to getting their hands on anti-viral medications.
The CDC said overall there is not a shortage, but some areas have been hit harder than others making it difficult to find.
"You might have to go to a different pharmacy. We realize you may have to go to more than one pharmacy and hopefully the shortage is temporary and it will be resolved and people won't continue to have this problem," said Dr. Fry.
The CDC is working with manufacturers to redirect the drugs.
As for this year's vaccine, the CDC still said that is the first line of defense.
"Our evidence from the laboratory suggest that the influenza vaccine this year should work similar to last year, so, yes, we think the vaccine will help and I'd urge people to be vaccinated if you haven't been vaccinated yet," said Dr. Fry.
So far this year, 20 children across the country have died. Five adults have died here in Georgia. The CDC doesn't know if this year could be one of the worst flu seasons the agency has seen.
"It seems like a bigger flu season than normal. In reality, when we look in a couple of weeks and we look back, it may be a typical flu season like we have every year," said Dr. Fry.