Severe flu season on decline in Wyoming
Health care workers report that approximately 26 deaths connected to influenza have been recorded since October. The deaths included both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals.
“For Wyoming to see 26 influenza-connected deaths in a season stands out and is something we wish we weren’t reporting,” WDH epidemiologist Tracy Murphy said. “We have detailed influenza information going back to the 2000-01 flu season. Since then, and prior to this season, the range of deaths per season has been two to 14 with an average of 6.5. Clearly, this has been a very active and unusually deadly flu season. While we continue to receive reports of some cases, the activity does seem to finally be winding down in Wyoming.”
The median age of those who died was 75 years old, and approximately two-thirds of the people who died were over 65. One child and other younger individuals are included in the death total.
“Unfortunately, the vaccine produced last year to fight influenza in the United States for the season was not an effective match to fight the flu strain that circulated most widely,” Murphy said. “That strain ‘drifted,’ or changed, after the vaccine was made. Flu vaccines do not offer guaranteed protection, but in most years they are an effective and important prevention tool.”