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Influenza Virus Epidemic of 2017-2018 – March 2nd Update

By Dr. Arthur Lavin

This posting will review any news on the influenza epidemic of 2017-2018 since last week.

The main news comes from the official CDC reporting that is issued every week at https://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/index.htm#ILIMap

Welcome to March, the month seasonal influenza virus epidemics really begin to disappear across the whole United States.  They all end by sometime in March and April.

  • The influenza virus epidemic of 2017-2018 is rapidly disappearing.  Rates of influenza virus, and cold/flu-like illnesses are finally dramatically way down.
  • Childhood deaths from the influenza virus were tragically a bit higher this week, with the total now in the range of past influenza virus epidemics, now at a total of 114 deaths.  Even with this number, the chance of a child dying of an influenza virus infection remains at roughly one in a million.   Those are still very good odds.
  • Ohio now has been officially indicated as having such a drop in the number of flu-like illnesses, the overall prevalence is down to low moderate to low!
  • With  today’s report, the end of the 2017-2018 influenza viral epidemic is now happening for sure.  
  • We hope you and your family get through the remaining couple or so months of this year’s influenza virus epidemic safely.  Let us know if you need our help.


We can all sigh a sigh of relief that yet another influenza virus epidemic is coming to an end.

This year we also saw confirmation for our decision not to prescribe Tamiflu to children unless truly exceptional danger is present, such as being ill enough t to be admitted to a hospital.   Why is that?  For two reasons:

  1. Tamiflu does not work very well, it has at best a very minor impact on the course of an influenza viral infection.
  2. In children, Tamiflu is documented to cause truly dangerous side effects, including seizures, suicidal ideation, and other delusions.

We are very glad to see this virus go away until next fall, and remain available as other viruses come and go every month.

To your health,
Dr. Arthur Lavin

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