The flu epidemic that has wreaked havoc throughout the country has caused one school district in Texas to close all schools in the district for one week and a hospital in California to set up a triage tent in an emergency room parking lot.
The United States Center For Disease Control the specific culprit as influenza A, H3N2.
Lynette Brammer, who is an epidemiologist working with the CDC’s division for influenza that Hawaii is the only state in the country that the flu is not widespread. Brammer also stated that this year’s flu season is comparable to the 2014-2015 season when 700,000 hospitalizations and 130 deaths were attributed to the flu.
California has suffered the most with 42 people now dead as a result of the flu and more than 3000 documented cases. The severity of this flu strain is evident when it is taken into account that otherwise healthy individuals in a variety of age ranges have died from this season’s flu.
Katie Thomas was pronounced dead 15 hours after arriving at a San Jose area emergency room. The forty-year-old was a marathon runner and mother of three. Stepmother Adrienne Oxley expressed that the family is having a difficult time coming to grips with the loss.
In Texas, the School district of Bonham canceled classes for 2000 students until next Tuesday. In a letter to parents school, district officials explain that health officials in the area suggested a full week to disrupt the cycling of the virus.
The flu epidemic is also has a hand in causing a shortage to the nation’s blood supply as a spokesman for the Red Cross says that as many as 500 blood drives have been canceled to inclement weather and the flu. The Red Cross is responsible for supplying 40% of blood used by hospitals in the country.
Brammer encourages people to get flu shots and explains that vaccination is the prevention available.