Health Dept. confirms flu death

Matt Maurer the epidemiologist for Coconino County holds a vial of influenza vaccine at the county health department in Flagstaff Ariz. The county just like the rest of the state has seen a spike in flu cases and it has overwhelmed some providers

Ohio Department of Health reports state's first pediatric flu death of season

In the days between Christmas and New Year's Day, local health care facilities reported a significant increase in patients testing positive for both Flu A and B strains.

This marks the first pediatric flu death of the season in Ohio.

"We really haven't seen a season quite like this in a little while", said Dr. Michelle Murti of Public Health Ontario, referring to the mix of two primary strains making people sick during this year's epidemic.

From October 2017 through January 2018, more than 65,000 people were treated for the flu in Tarrant County hospitals and John Peter Smith Health Network Clinics. As of the end of December 2017, 304 people were reportedly sick with the flu.

Flu vaccination prevents millions of illnesses and tens of thousands of flu-related hospitalizations each year.

The number of flu cases is continuing to rise across Canada, suggesting the peak of infections with one of the dominant circulating strains could come within a few weeks - or even sooner, say infectious diseases experts, who describe this influenza season as "unusual".

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Louisiana Department of Heath recommend a yearly flu shot for everyone over six months of age who does not have a complicating condition, such as a prior allergic reaction to the flu shot. H3N2-dominant flu seasons are associated with more severe illness, especially among children and older adults. She said this flu season is abnormal.

Antiviral medications can shorten the course of the flu and reduce its severity. Vaccine effectiveness against H3N2 viruses has been around 30 percent.

"No parent should ever have to suffer the loss of a child to the flu".

Carolyn Kaltenberg said flu symptoms can appear similar to the common cold, but they are differentiated by a running temperature, body aches and fatigue.

Get vaccinated. The list of reasons to avoid vaccination is short (such as having a severe reaction to the vaccine in the past); and no, the standard injected flu vaccine can not cause you to get the flu.

The Department of Health Services says getting vaccinated is the most effective protection against influenza. Another factor is a fear of getting the flu from the vaccine.

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