HEALTH

Flu kills two in Utah, but season is off to mild start

Jan 3, 2019, 1:55 PM | Updated: 5:38 pm
flu map...
This map from the CDC shows current flu activity nationwide.

SALT LAKE CITY — The Centers for Disease Control says there have been eleven influenza-related deaths in the country this flu season with two of them coming in the state of Utah.

They were both children who died and one of them involved an underlying medical condition. Even with the deaths, the Utah Department of Health says our flu season so far is actually somewhat mild.

A company that makes smart thermometers says Utah ranks the “sickest in the nation,” determined by thermometer use frequencies, body temperatures and other measures.

Kinsa reports an increase in the use of thermometers in Utah along with higher body temperatures, but according to the Centers for Disease Control, which tracks influenza activity nationwide, Utah’s rate of influenza infection is currently low. The CDC also noted that there is more flu activity in other states, including neighboring Colorado.

Since Oct. 1, the traditional beginning of the flu season, the health department says 61 Utahns have been hospitalized with influenza. Health officials say the vast majority of those cases occur in people who are elderly or have a pre-existing health condition that makes them more at risk.

Kinsa said last week that 5.7% of the Utah population was experiencing influenza or flu-like symptoms, describing Salt Lake City as the epicenter of flu activity.

That data comes from its thermometers, which the company says recorded an average of 40,000 temperatures per day during influenza season last year, allowing the company to pinpoint areas with increased reports of fever.

 

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Flu kills two in Utah, but season is off to mild start