CDC: Flu season especially hard on younger people this year

POSTED: 01:18 PM PST Feb 20, 2014 

The Centers for Disease Control reports the flu season has been especially hard on younger people this season. But the good news; vaccination is lowering the risk of hospitalization by about 60% for people of all ages.

This influenza season was particularly hard on younger- and middle-age adults, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in today's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

People age 18-64 represented 61% of all hospitalizations from influenza-up from the previous three seasons when this age group represented only about 35% of all such hospitalizations.

Influenza deaths followed the same pattern; more deaths than usual occurred in this younger age group.

A second report in this week's MMWR showed that influenza vaccination offered substantial protection against the flu this season, reducing a vaccinated person's risk of having to go to the doctor for flu illness by about 60 percent across all ages.

"Flu hospitalizations and deaths in people younger- and middle-aged adults is a sad and difficult reminder that flu can be serious for anyone, not just the very young and old; and that everyone should be vaccinated," said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. "The good news is that this season's vaccine is doing its job, protecting people across all age groups."

Tips to avoid the flu: