Thursday, 17 January, 2019

Flu widespread in Virginia, health officials say

First case of flu confirmed in the city Cerro Gordo County reporting multiple cases of the flu
Johnnie Parks | 05 January, 2019, 03:59

This year's flu season, predicted to be relatively mild, is defying expectations. "Flu shots are available at the health department and local pharmacies". But the flu comes on fast and furious.

Karen Martin, epidemiologist with the Minnesota Department of Health tells KNSI's Bob Hughes says the vaccine varies from year to year, and isn't always a 100 percent match to the dominant strain, but it's better than not being vaccinated at all. The dominant strain circulating a year ago, H3N2, was especially hard to stop.

Dr. William Schaffner, who studies the flu, says that's not unusual; when flu kills a child, it often happens quickly.

Brammer can't predict when the flu season will peak, but it most likely won't be until the end of February or March. "It peaked early and hit really hard".

But there are several months left in the season.

This year, the majority of flu vaccines being offered in the community protect against two strains of influenza A and two strains of influenza B, the release said. Most of these hospitalizations have been young children.

If you're the "outbreak monkey", at work, school, home, doctors say you need to get treated. "But we are starting to see more cases reported right now".

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Although prevention isn't always effective, she says it's pretty simple.

"With significant flu still to come this season, CDC continues to recommend that anyone who has not yet gotten a flu vaccine this season should get vaccinated now", the CDC said in a report.

The HSE has confirmed it has identified the H1N1 flu strain in a number of patients and warned it expects more people will be affected in the coming weeks.

That's not happening this year-so far.

Speaking on RTÉ's News at One he said at least two, and possibly four, people have died. The number of deaths in the US attributed to pneumonia and influenza stood at 6.1 per cent in the week ending December 22, below the epidemic threshold, the CDC reported.

That underscores the most crucial piece of information at this point, Brammer said.

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