The Flu virus this year has been particularly gnarly, killing 53 children. Dr. Anne Schuchat, acting director of the Centers for Disease Control, told reporters, "So far this year the cumulative rate of hospitalization is the highest since we began tracking in this way." The US is 10 weeks into the current flu season, which is expected to last for several more weeks. The CDC are concerned that this flu season "might be even worse than 2014-2015,” when 148 children died of the virus.
Take your vitamins, get your flu shot, and wash your hands. This thing is for real.
This is a most horrible day. One of my closest friends in the world lived in Dallas. He was battling the flu. He worked from home Wednesday. Thursday no one heard from him. Friday police did a welfare check. They broken down the door. He was inside…dead. He was 45. I’m in shock.— Charles M. Blow (@CharlesMBlow) February 3, 2018
This flu season has only reaffirmed the guiding principle of my life: Never go outside or do anything ever.— Jess Dweck (@TheDweck) February 4, 2018
I was in the ER with the baby on Monday (he has RSV) and all around us, flu patients. Nobody was admitted because they had no more beds. And I overheard the doctors explaining the severity to parents "We've had kids (PLURAL) die in this hospital. It can happen fast."— Bethany S. Mandel (@bethanyshondark) February 4, 2018
The outbreak is so bad that hospitals are opening overflow tents and there's actually a shortage of saline:
#FDA’s update on our efforts to mitigate ongoing IV saline shortages during the severe flu season. Also, we’re monitoring other critical medical products to prevent shortages, including antivirals, other supportive care drugs and devices: https://t.co/AE9mZYzfck pic.twitter.com/rnPaEU975H— Scott Gottlieb, M.D. (@SGottliebFDA) February 3, 2018
And physical contact is to be avoided in most all situations:
This flu is a real scourge, but some people have had a gentle enough run of it to power through certain obligations: