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Current Flu Situation
Younger People Hit Particularly Hard This Flu Season
The H1N1 virus which emerged in 2009 to trigger a pandemic that year is active again this year. CDC reports high rates of hospitalization and deaths among people 18-64 years old. More deaths than usual (nearly 60% of flu deaths) have occurred in the 25-64 age group; a pattern similar to the 2009 pandemic. While H1N1 viruses have continued to circulate since 2009, this is the first season since the pandemic that H1N1 has been circulating so widely in the United States.
The flu vaccine is your best protection against the flu, including H1N1. In fact, the flu vaccine reduces the risk of seeing your doctor for flu-related illness by approximately 60%. If you get vaccinated and still get sick your doctor may be able to provide antiviral drugs to help treat the flu.
Human Case of H5N1 Confirmed in Canada
Canadian health officials confirmed a fatal case of human infection with avian influenza A (H5N1). The patient had recently traveled to Beijing, China where H5N1 is ever-present among poultry. Canadian Public Health authorities are investigating the situation and no additional cases have been reported.
At this time, the threat of an H5N1 pandemic is low as only one isolated case is on file. We would be at risk of an H5N1 pandemic if the virus gained the ability to spread efficiently from person-to-person. Currently, there is no indication that has happened.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is in close contact with its Canadian public health partners and is monitoring the situation closely.