The CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices voted Wednesday to recommend FluMist's use after a two-year suspension, the pharmaceutical company said Wednesday. In the last severe flu season, during 2014-2015, 148 children died. Hawaii, Oregon, Guam and Washington D.C. reported local influenza activity.
Three states - Florida, Idaho and Washington - experienced low activity, while three others - Maine, Montana and North Dakota - showed only minimal activity.
"Anyone can get the flu and serious problems related to the flu can happen at any age, but for those at high risk of serious flu complications, getting vaccinated is especially important", Davis said.
The New Mexico Department of Health says as of February 16th, there were 34 flu-related deaths in the state.
About 6.4 percent of all doctor visits nationwide were for flu-like symptoms, including fever and cough.
"H3N2 affects more older folks, with very high hospitalization and death rates", Jernigan said. Looks like we're in for a few more weeks of winter, with no mercy from the season's attendant colds and flus.
According to officials, this has been a particularly bad year for the flu, and its dispersal has been odd, with reported cases spread across age ranges. Influenza B is typically more common among children.
The CDC says about half those children did not have underlying conditions and only a quarter of them had been vaccinated.
The majority (55%) of hospital admissions were due to the influenza B strain.
The prominent virus is H3N2, an "A" strain.
This season started early and surged for months. Last week, there were 88 reported cases.
"As long as we have eggs we are going to have this problem", Hensley said - and other flu vaccine experts agree. The percentage of specimens tested in clinical labs that were influenza B viruses rose from 36.4% to 41.8%.
The CDC cautions that people who've been sick with one strain of the flu can get a different strain during the same season, so a flu shot can still be helpful for the unvaccinated.
"Hopefully through our vaccine effectiveness networks we'll get some of that information, but it would be good to see if there is a performance difference between those vaccines".