This posting will review any news on the influenza epidemic of 2017-2018 since last week and conclude updates for this epidemic
The main news comes from the official CDC reporting that is issued every week at https://www.cdc.gov/flu/
Congratulations Ohio and the US, we are now officially at the end of our 2017-2018 influenza virus epidemic. Ohio remains a state that has the lowest level of influenza virus infection that they designate, officially minimal, lower than low but now many, many states have reached this milestone.
- The influenza virus epidemic of 2017-2018 is at its end. I am very pleased to see it go, particularly the drama of the reporting that took the usual seasonal occurrence of influenza and other respiratory viral illnesses every winter and made them into scary stories suggesting history was being made.
- Again, the truly tragic events this winter, when it comes to viral respiratory infections, is the horrible fact that some children die every winter from these infections. There is nothing to say but how sad and terrible these events are. At the same time, for the usual experience of viral respiratory infections, the experience is not dangerous. This turned out to be true once again this year. There are about 100 million children in the United States, nearly all get a cold or a flu every winter, and this year a total of 122 of these infections proved fatal. That number will go up a few in the coming weeks as the last influenza virus cases end. But again, any problem that is only deadly 1 in a million instances is a fairly safe event. And, now that the influenza epidemic of 2017-2018 is finally coming to a close, we can say it was a typical level of danger, the number of these deaths remains in line with past years.
- We are glad that so many children in our practice, and around the nation, experienced their influenza virus without lasting harm. And very glad that the winter viral season is closing. We will not miss it, and hope the next winter proves even milder.
We are grateful for all the thank you’s we received for the influenza epidemic updates, it encourages us to keep posting.
On to allergies, and other issues we see in warm weather.
We hope everyone has a wonderful spring break, and spring holidays!
To your health,
Dr. Arthur Lavin