Guess What’s Linked to Increased Flu Hospitalizations?

You’ll never guess (boldface mine):

“This year’s flu activity has predominantly been H1N1, the same strain that caused pandemic in 2009, and it hasn’t mutated substantially,” said Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the CDC in a press call Thursday. “It’s back this year and hitting younger people hard.”

Only one-third of adults ages 18 to 64 had been vaccinated by November, a month into the 2013-2014 flu season. This population, which is least likely to be vaccinated, has had the majority (61 percent) of flu-related hospitalizations so far, a figure that’s climbing from previous years, according to the CDC report released this week….

Dr. Frieden said that low vaccination rates is one of the reasons we’re seeing a much higher proportion of hospitalizations and deaths among 18 to 64 year olds than usual. “We’re particularly seeing hospitalizations and deaths with people with underlying medical conditions such as obesity, diabetes, lung cancer, and asthma,” he said.

Pictures are worth a thousand words:


As we noted previously, this year’s vaccine has excellent protection against this year’s influenza viruses.

Get your damn flu shot if you haven’t already. Then do it again next year.

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