Mar 4, 2018

Type B flu viruses are on the rise while overall rates drop

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Data: Centers for Disease Control; Chart: Axios Visuals

Flu infection rates continued dropping during the week ending Feb. 24 but influenza is still very active, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday. And, the CDC reported another 17 pediatric deaths during that week, meaning 114 kids have died so far from the flu this season — already higher than the prior two years (110 last year and 93 the year before).

What you need to know: People are now reporting higher infections of influenza B viruses so it's possible there could be a second bump to the season, The Washington Post points out. CDC officials said earlier that it's possible to get the flu more than once in a season, and they still recommend people get a flu shot, which is estimated to be 42% effective against Influenza B for all ages.

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China hunts cause of mysterious pneumonia outbreak in Wuhan

Wuhan, China. Photo: Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

The cause of an outbreak of pneumonia in China that's sickened at least 59 people in the city of Wuhan remains a mystery, although Chinese officials say it is not the deadly SARS virus and doesn't appear to spread quickly between people.

Why it matters: There's no reason for Americans to be concerned at this point, but the source needs to be determined to halt its spread, says Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Wuhan, which has a population of 19 million, is the capital of Hubei province, home to 58 million people.

Go deeperArrowJan 6, 2020

68 reported dead from vaping-related lung illness

Photo: Richard Baker / In Pictures via Getty Images

68 people have died from a lung injury associated with e-cigarette use in 29 states and the District of Columbia, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports as of Feb. 18.

What's new: Because of the consistent declines in new EVALI cases since Sept. 2019, as well as the identification of vitamin E acetate as a primary cause of EVALI, Tuesday's report will be the final CDC update on the number of hospitalized EVALI cases and deaths nationally.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Feb 25, 2020 - Health

America's heart disease epidemic

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Americans are increasingly dying of heart disease and strokes as they hit middle age — and the trend is happening across the country, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of mortality rates.

Why it matters: It suggests "that the underlying causes of cardiovascular disease are universal and difficult to address," the Journal found.

Go deeperArrowJan 14, 2020