CASPER, Wyo. — Across the country, about 2,100 people have died from influenza during the 2019-2020 flu season.
At least 4.6 million people have contracted flu illnesses and 39,000 people have been hospitalized, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Influenza is considered “widespread” in Wyoming, according to a weekly report from the Wyoming Department of Health.
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“There were 15 pneumonia and influenza (P&I) mortality reports certified
since the beginning of the 2019-2020 Influenza Season,” that report adds.
But more than 15 people may have died in Wyoming from influenza-related illnesses this season.
“Tracking death certificates is the best surveillance system to capture and
identify pneumonia and influenza-associated deaths in Wyoming,” the health department says. “According to the CDC, influenza is infrequently listed on death certificates. Also, testing for seasonal influenza infections is not frequently performed, particularly among the elderly who are at greatest risk for seasonal influenza complications and death.”
“Therefore, public health officials may not identify influenza-associated deaths in many instances; consequently, this surveillance system may underestimate the true impact of influenza associated deaths in the state.”
The CDC says that all regions of the country are seeing elevated flu-like illnesses.
“Activity is being caused mostly by influenza B/Victoria viruses, which is unusual for this time of year,” the CDC adds. “A(H1N1) viruses are the next most common and are increasing in proportion relative to other influenza viruses in some regions.”
The CDC recommends that people consider getting vaccinations.
“It’s not too late to get vaccinated,” they say. “Flu vaccination is always the best way to prevent flu and its potentially serious complications.”
“Antiviral medications are an important adjunct to flu vaccine in the control of influenza. Almost all (>99%) of the influenza viruses tested this season are susceptible to the four FDA-approved influenza antiviral medications recommended for use in the U.S. this season.”