Hospitals and clinicians are seeing fewer flu patients this season than in other recent years, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports. While flu activity remains elevated and is expected to continue for several more weeks, severity this season has been low, with a lower percentage of outpatient visits for influenza-like illness, lower rates of hospitalization, and fewer deaths attributed to pneumonia and influenza, the agency said. The flu vaccine has been about 46 percent effective against the predominant flu virus (H1N1) this season, similar to when that strain last predominated, and 47 percent effective overall, the agency said. Health care providers should continue to encourage flu vaccination for everyone six months or older and treat severe, complicated or progressive cases of confirmed or suspected flu and patients at high risk for complications with antiviral medications, CDC said.
 

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