Deadly Flu Outbreak: 100s a Week Dying in US as Virus Continues to Spread
Doctors struggle to contain Influenza epidemic
100s of people are dying in the United States every week since mid-December from a deadly flu virus, the Center for Disease Control has warned.
The CDC has pushed for an increase in vaccinations following a report on the latest figures that showed there were 759 flu deaths between 7 October and 23 December.
The report also stated that since early December more than 100 people were dying every week from the flu, with the death toll increasing rapidly since, with a huge rise in the number of hospital admissions.
According to a report by CBS News, this is more than double the number of flu deaths from the same period last year when there were only 322 reported fatalities.
The CDC has called for flu shots to become mandatory to reduce the spread of the fatal influenza bug.
Independent reports: An increase in the number of reported cases of the flu during the winter is common and usually peaks around Christmas and New Year when more people are traveling and spreading illness.
In the UK, 149 people have so far died and last week 4,500 people were hospitalized, according to Public Health England figures.
Some 120 flu deaths have been recorded in England, 21 in Scotland and eight in Northern Ireland. There is no precise data available for Wales.
The Catholic diocese of Down and Connor in Northern Ireland has temporarily banned its priests from shaking the hands of parishioners as they receive Holy Communion in favor of a “sign of peace” to avoid spreading the virus.
Meanwhile, people are still being urged to get a flu jab to help protect vulnerable people.
A letter sent to every GP practice in England last week warned that up to three million high-risk patients had yet to have the jab.
The flu virus mutates every year so even people who have had the vaccine in previous years need to be immunized against this latest strain.