If you thought the most recent flu season was bad, you were right | Science News

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If you thought the most recent flu season was bad, you were right

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention classed it in the ‘high severity’ category

12:17pm, June 8, 2018
hospital staff

HIGH SEASON  Last January, hospital staff saw patients in Bend, Ore., in a waiting area converted to manage more people coming in with the flu. The flu killed more than 170 children this season, the CDC reports.

What felt like a miserable flu season this past year was, in fact, a miserable flu season.

The 2017–2018 influenza season was classified in the “high severity” category overall, according to a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It was only the third use of this designation since 2003.

To assess how the influenza virus has been affecting U.S. communities, the CDC applied a new method of evaluating severity to every annual outbreak back to the 2003–2004 season. The evaluation considers the percentage of flu-related visits to outpatient clinics, rates of hospitalizations and the percentage of deaths linked to flu or pneumonia.

The most recent flu season was among the worst for hospitalizations, the report finds, with the highest hospitalization rate for all ages combined since 2005–2006.

It was also a bad year for flu-related deaths

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