The advisory committee provides advice and guidance to the director of Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention regarding the use of vaccines and related agents for control of vaccine-preventable diseases among the civilian population. Last week, for the first time in over a month, the percent of visits to North Carolina health clinics for influenza-like illnesses dropped to under 8 percent.
Bourns said the numbers are not wildly disproportionate from previous flu seasons.
The company said limited quantities of the vaccine continue to be available for the current season. Hawaii, Oregon, Guam and Washington D.C. reported local influenza activity. "Overall, about a third of the people who got the flu vaccine were protected, but in kids under 9, nearly two-thirds were protected against influenza".
This flu season, 11 people in Saskatchewan have died from influenza.
Influenza isn't just widespread - the strains in circulation are also severe. The most frequently identified flu virus subtype reported by public health laboratories during week 7 was influenza A (H3), but the proportion of influenza B has been rising. Hospitalization remained highest among adults 65 years of age and older (322.7 per 100,000 population), adults 50-64 (79.9 per 100,000 population), and children 4 years of age and younger (52.6 per 100,000 population).
In Medina County, the flu season's death toll reached 23, with two additional fatalities recorded during the week ending February 17.
Almost 100 children have died from flu this season, and that is likely to climb before it ends.
"Even if you contract the flu, most likely if you're vaccinated you won't get sick and there is less chance of being hospitalized and suffering complications", Bond told The Daily Star on Friday.
"We know that for the Influenza A, the H3N2, which is the predominant strain that we've seen is now decreasing", she said.
But there are other factors in play, including "more people with a variety of underlying illnesses because we do a better job of keeping people alive and functioning in our society", he said. Also, when someone is sick with flu, they may be more susceptible to a bacterial infection that can cause pneumonia.