U.S. flu outbreak: Boston declares health emergency: “With flu cases in Boston up tenfold from last year, the mayor declared a public health emergency on Wednesday as authorities around the United States scrambled to cope with a rising number of patients.
U.S. health authorities say the flu arrived about a month earlier than usual this year, and the flu strain making most people sick – H3N2 – has a reputation for causing fairly severe illness, especially in the elderly.
As a result, hospitals around the country have been forced to find additional space to treat the ill, and some have had to turn people away.
[...] As of last Friday, the proportion of people visiting their doctor with flu symptoms had climbed from to 5.6 percent, up from 2.8 percent a month earlier.
That compared with 2.2 percent at the peak of last year’s mild flu season and 7.7 percent at the peak of the 2009 H1N1 swine flu pandemic.”