Posted on

CDC: Seasonal flu death estimate increases worldwide


December 31,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and their partners remind people that even though the holiday season has arrived, it is not too late to get your flu vaccine.

According to new estimates published today, between 291,000 and 646,000 people worldwide die from seasonal influenza-related respiratory illnesses each year, higher than a previous estimate of 250,000 to 500,000 and based on a robust, multinational survey.

“These findings remind us of the seriousness of flu and that flu prevention should really be a global priority,” says Joe Bresee, M.D., associate director for global health in CDC’s Influenza Division and a study co-author.

So far the ten counties in New Jersey have been reporting high levels of flu activity this month: Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Ocean, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Somerset and Union.

The CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older. Certain people are at greater risk for serious complications from the flu. Those at high risk include:
* Children younger than 5, but especially children younger than 2 years old
* People 65 years of age and older
* Pregnant women and women up to 2 weeks after end of pregnancy
* American Indians and Alaskan Natives
* People who have medical conditions such as asthma, heart disease, and diabetes
Flu vaccination should also be a priority for those persons who live with or care for persons at higher risk for influenza-related complications. This includes healthcare personnel and household contacts of children less than six months of age, since these children are too young to receive the flu vaccine.
For the 2017-2018 season, the CDC is recommending only injectable flu shots be used. The nasal spray flu vaccine (live attenuated influenza vaccine or LAIV) should not be used based on concerns about its effectiveness.
NIVW provides an opportunity for public health and health care professionals, health advocates, communities and families across the country to work together to promote flu vaccination. Consider conducting some of the following activities in your community:
* Distribute flu educational materials at local community events
* Share flu prevention messages through social media outlets
* Work with your local health department, clinics, and hospitals to promote neighborhood clinics
* Expand the flu clinic hours to reduce wait times and to eliminate access barriers
* Encourage educational institutions, businesses, and organizations/community partners to
participate in the New Jersey Influenza Honor Roll,…/…/documents/vpdp/ihr_application.pdf
Flu vaccines are safe and effective and are offered in many locations including doctor’s offices, clinics, health departments, urgent care centers, and pharmacies. For general flu information and to find a flu shot near you, please visit the Department’s website at
For additional information and resources to promote NIVW, please visit