Trump tweets blastomycin-resistant strains linked to flu outbreak
A new strain of flu that can resist the popular coronavirus vaccine and kill some people has been linked to more than 300 deaths in six states, including several in Texas, as well as an additional four deaths in the District of Columbia, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Wednesday.
The strain, dubbed BL-2, is similar to the strain that killed five children in Texas in October, but the CDC said it is slightly more lethal, making it more deadly than the previous strain of BL-1.
The new strain is being used in California, Arizona, Oregon and Washington, and is the latest in a series of strains linked by the virus to more fatalities, the CDC announced.
The latest death was confirmed Wednesday in the western part of the state of Texas.
The hospital where the patient was treated for the flu was evacuated, and a third person was admitted to a hospital with a similar illness, the Texas Health Presbyterian Medical Center in Dallas said in a statement.
The CDC said the strain was isolated from a man who had a case of the flu at the hospital, and it was not immediately known whether he was infected.
The strain is the most lethal strain yet linked to the pandemic, and the CDC is urging anyone with a recent exposure to it to get tested.
In the United States, there are now more than 5.6 million cases of flu, including more than 730,000 deaths.
That’s up from the 4.3 million cases reported in late March.
The number of confirmed cases has dropped dramatically in recent weeks, with only 676 confirmed cases reported Wednesday, down from 8,817 on Feb. 6.
More than 4,300 deaths have been reported, down slightly from 5,500 on March 1.
The U.S. government said on Wednesday that it is continuing to provide funding to local and state governments in Texas and California to contain the virus and help people recover.
The U.N. is also stepping up efforts to help people and families recover from the flu, the statement said.
The Centers for Diseases Control and Protection said more than 2,100 people have been diagnosed with flu in Texas.