7Healthcast: Severe flu season - 7News Boston WHDH-TV

7Healthcast: Severe flu season

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UNDATED (NBC) - Swine flu is back this year and it's hitting a certain age group particularly hard.

The virus is mainly striking a younger crowd.

"Younger people, non-elderly adults are more likely this year to be hospitalized, to die from flu than they are in normal flu years,” said Dr. Joe Bresee, CDC.

A new report from the centers for disease control finds people between the ages of 18 and 64 account for 61-percent of flu-related hospitalizations.

One reason may be the dominant viral strain.

H1N1 or "swine flu" is back, accounting for at least 95-percent of flu cases. Experts say young and middle-aged adults appear to have low levels of natural immunity to help fight off H1N1.

Vaccination rates in this age group are also low.

"These young adults who don't think they're going to get the flu or don't think they're going to get very sick if they do, are least likely to get vaccinated,” Dr. Bresee said.

Infectious disease experts admit the flu vaccine is not perfect, only about 60-percent effective.

But they say it's the best tool available to protect against the flu, which is still dominating doctors’ offices nationwide.

The national number of flu deaths among adults is not yet available but 50 children so far have died.

There are about 4-6 weeks left in the typical flu season and doctors say there is still time to get vaccinated.

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