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NEW YORK (AP) — It’s early, but the current flu season is shaping up to be gentler than last winter’s unusually brutal one, U.S. health officials said.
In most parts of the country, most illnesses right now are being caused by a flu strain that leads to fewer hospitalizations and deaths as the kind of flu that dominated a year ago, according to officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Vaccines also work better against it, said the CDC’s Dr. Alicia Fry.
US - Milder - Flu - Season - Strain
So is the U.S. in for a milder flu season? “If (this strain) continues to be the predominant virus, that is what we’d expect,” Fry said. Last season, an estimated 80,000 Americans died of flu and its complications — the disease’s highest death toll in at least four decades. In recent years, flu-related deaths have ranged from about 12,000 to 56,000, according to the CDC.
The CDC has no estimate of deaths so far this season, partly because it’s so early. Flu usually takes off after Christmas and peaks around February. On Friday, the CDC released its regular weekly flu update, showing that it was reported to be widespread...
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