Watch how you can protect yourself and your loved ones from the flu in the video below.
Video credit: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
The current US flu season has become the longest one in the last 10 years after a surprising second viral wave added several months to its life.
The flu season which appeared to be mild and short three months ago has been officially going for more than 21 weeks now, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.
According to the CDC reports released on Friday, the current flu season is among the longest ones to hit the US ever since the government started tracking its duration two decades ago.
Some experts said the unusual double waves were, in fact, two back-to-back different flu seasons which had been compressed into one.
Dr. Arnold Monto, a researcher at the University of Michigan who has been studying respiratory illnesses for more than five decades, said: ‘I don’t remember a season like this.’
Previously, the longest flu season to hit the country was in 2014-2015, and it spanned 20 weeks.
Even though flu causes a relatively mild illness in most of the people, it leads to a more severe illness in some, especially the elderly and the young children.
Flu vaccinations can help prevent the condition as well as the complications caused by it.
The current flu season started from Thanksgiving week. Initially, the illnesses were due to a flu strain which can easily be controlled by vaccination without the need of being hospitalized.
However, a nastier strain began in mid-February, leading to severe illnesses and hospitalizations.
Still, this season isn’t as bad as the last winter’s season which ended after 19 weeks. It was the deadliest in 40 years and claimed more than 80,000 lives due to flu and related complications.
This season, the CDC has estimated the flu-related deaths to range from 35,000 to 55,000.
Although the flu virus is very unpredictable, some signs suggest that the calamity should end soon, said Lynnette Brammer, who oversees flu tracking at the CDC.
‘It’s on the verge’ of being over, Brammer said. ‘If nothing changes.’
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