Younger and middle-age adults have been hit particularly hard this flu season. People ages 18 to 64 represented 61 percent of all hospitalizations from influenza -- up from the previous three seasons when this age group represented only 35 percent of all such hospitalizations, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported. Influenza deaths followed the same pattern -- with more deaths than usual occurring in this younger age group.
A second report showed that influenza vaccination offered protection against the flu, reducing a vaccinated person’s risk of having to go to the doctor for flu illness by about 60 percent across all ages.
The currently circulating H1N1 virus emerged in 2009 to trigger a pandemic, which was notable for high rates of hospitalization and death in younger- and middle-aged people. While H1N1 viruses have continued to circulate since the pandemic, this is the first season since the pandemic they have been predominant in the US.
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