The Center for Disease Control and Prevention or CDC has confirmed three deaths so far due to flu infection. The three victims were all children, according to the press release. Minnesota health officials made an announcement that there are seven children undergoing treatment at the ICU of St. Paul’s Children Hospital.
The Flu season this year has been exceptionally deadly to children. Just this month of December alone, According to the Minnesota Department of Health, 50% of school children in different parts of Minnesota were not able to attend their classes due the flu outbreak. The disease doesn’t discriminate whether the child is healthy or not, this is what Dr. Pritish Tosh of the Mayo Clinic said. The virus can prove too much for the body to fight.
During an interview with ABC News, he explained, “The virus can enter the blood stream and then the brain, creating severe respiratory symptoms including shortness of breath and a very high fever. If the body’s reaction to virus is too vigorous, this can cause damage equal to virus itself”.
It was during the first few days of December when Shannon Zwanziger died at the Mayo Clinic due to flu. She was a 17-year-old senior at Owatonna High School. It started with fever and sore throat which persisted for a week. She was not able to make it. She breathed her last while being cuddled by her mother.
State health epidemiologist Karen Martin, while being interviewed by the Star Tribune, revealed the primary strain could be of the H3 type. She continued that more individuals were sick with flu last year, along with the number of deaths.
Just recently, CDC has issued a bulletin informing health practitioners and doctors about the effectiveness of a new flu vaccine. The warning states that it is only powerful against influenza A (H3N2), the prevailing flu virus.
CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden said it will take almost four months to come up with a new type of vaccine. This will involve utilizing the modern cell-based preparation. These new generation of flu vaccine may not be available in time to help fight the infection this season.