Flu deaths this season climb to 13 in RI - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Flu deaths this season climb to 13 in RI

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By Alana Cerrone


There have now been 13 reported flu deaths in Rhode Island this season.

The Rhode Island Department of Health says that most of the 13 Rhode Islanders were in their 80s or 90s, and many since late March when the H3N2 strain arrived.

In the last week, there have been 40 hospitalizations out of a total 392 reported this season. This marks the late season second wave of the disease.

"Thirteen Rhode Islanders have died from influenza this season, and the number of hospitalizations due to influenza has increased, with much of the activity occurring in the last month." HEALTH Director Michael Fine, MD said.  "Anyone not yet vaccinated should be vaccinated now."

This year's vaccine immunizes against both H1N1 and H3N2 and B, which is the late season strain.

HEALTH says many of the elderly who did die had in fact been vaccinated, but flu vaccines tend to be less effective in the elderly and make them more vulnerable to the disease.

For more information, about the flu and vaccine contact the HEALTH Information Line: 401-222-5960 / RI Relay 711.

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