According to the CDC, there are four types of influenza viruses: A, which has various sub types and strains, B, which also has various strains, C and D, with human influenza A and B viruses the cause of the seasonal epidemics of the disease in this country. The other two states seeing high influenza volumes are MS and Louisiana.
States with the most "widespread" flu activity, as of December 2, included: Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana.
According to World Health Organization, previous global estimates of death resulting from such respiratory diseases from the flu sat between 250,000 and 500,000, but now new figures show that has jumped to 290,000 to 650,000.
The viruses attacked by the vaccine are chosen far before the flu season because it takes a while to grow the necessary material in the millions of eggs needed. Residents 18 and older can often get a flu vaccine at a local pharmacy. The number and percentage of positive tests for influenza B also remains higher for this time of year compared to the same period during the past seven seasons, with five times the number of cumulative detection compared to the same period during the 2014-15, the report adds. "The flu shot combined with proper handwashing are the two most effective things you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones".
"This is a result of patients seeking health care for flu-like symptoms and means an increased demand on health care resources and longer wait times", said Carly Baxter, Communications Consultant with QHC.
"What's not measured is that, even if you get the flu in spite of the vaccine, your flu case is likely to be milder; you're less likely to have the complications of pneumonia, having to be hospitalized and dying", he said.
Koenig went on to say that while no vaccine can be guaranteed 100 percent effective, "a study published earlier this year in a pediatric journal shows that flu vaccination can significantly reduce a child's risk of dying from influenza". Don't let the flu stop you from enjoying the holidays.
Faisal Khan, MD, director of the St. Louis County Department of Health, said the county had reported 281 cases of the flu this season (254 of Influenza A, 27 of Influenza B) - and the number is going up.
The flu has now killed one person in Tulsa County, the first death here this season.
But the reason the 2017 shot isn't preventing as many cases of the H3N2 strain is that while scientists were growing the virus in chicken eggs, that strain mutated.