Viral illness in headlines, but CDC warns of death toll from annual threat


NEW YORK – As concerns justifiably surge across the United States over the first Ebola case that has been diagnosed inside America’s border, experts say the public should be paying attention to a proven annual killer – in addition to the viral outbreak that arrived in the U.S. via an airplane from Liberia.

The real danger, they say, is the flu season.

Each year, depending on the severity of the influenza virus circulating that season, experts estimate somewhere between 4,000 to 50,000 Americans die of the disease, with 95 percent of all deaths occurring in people over 65 years old. An estimated 20,000 children younger than 5 years old are hospitalized.

In preparing for the 2014-2015 influenza season, the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta has reported that as of mid-August seven influenza vaccine manufacturers are projecting that 151 million to 159 million doses of influenza vaccine will be ready for use.

The CDC has announced that for 2014-2015, U.S.-licensed influenza vaccines will contain the same vaccine virus strains as those in the 2013-2014 vaccine, with the expectation that this season’s influenza virus will roughly duplicate the experience of last year.

The flu season typically starts in the fall and peaks in January or February, though it can appear as early as October and as late as May.

Written by JEROME R. CORSI
Read more at WND

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