Holidays are 'peak' time for flu season; ERs busy

15 December, 2017, 09:02 | Author: Cassandra Gardner
  • US flu season off to an early start; vaccines may not be as effective for this strain

In fact, the cumulative number of influenza A detection in particular this season is higher compared to the previous seven seasons. The estimate also took into account several recent respiratory mortality studies, including one published in the Lancet on Thursday by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

More information on where to get vaccinated is available on the Erie County Department of Health's website. The other two states seeing high influenza volumes are MS and Louisiana.

Erie County Health Commissioner Gale Burstein says she expects to see a higher number of cases this flu season.

Young children, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems are most at risk of serious health problems related to the flu.

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People aged 75 years and older and people living in sub-Saharan African countries experienced the highest rates of flu-associated respiratory deaths.

People with flu can spread it to others up to about 6 feet away, the Centers for Disease Control reports.

"These findings remind us of the seriousness of flu and that flu prevention should really be a global priority", said Dr Joe Bresee, associate director for global health at the CDC's Influenza Division and a co-author of the study.

Reports that this year's flu shot may be about 10 percent effective should not stop anyone from getting the vaccine.

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And Canada's flu season is expected to be a doozy, the Government of Canada warns.

IN has already had one confirmed death this flu season; the victim was under the age of 18.

Beth Lantrip, infection preventionist with Hendrick Medical Center, said that in Public Health Region 2/3 - which includes Abilene - the current Influenza Activity Level is "Local", above "Minimal" and "Sporadic", but below "Regional" and "Widespread".

Similar activity is being seen across the province and there are also several other respiratory viruses circulating this time of year with Rhinovirus being the most common, non-influenza virus right now. "The flu shot combined with proper handwashing are the two most effective things you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones". Even though we're in the midst of it, and the flu is already prevalent here, it's not too late to get vaccinated, the health department said. The report also finds vaping and marijuana are more popular among 12th-graders than traditional cigarettes or misused prescription pain relievers.

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