As activity of the virus (influenza A H3N2) has risen nationwide for the second consecutive week, the spread of the flu in Washington has now reached "epidemic" levels-which, to be fair is something it does every year.
An elderly central Iowa man who had underlying health conditions died from complications related to the flu.
"We started to see more cases in the last couple weeks, but expect these numbers to peak in February", said Ruth Manier, director of community health services at the Dickinson-Iron District Health Department.
Leger says it is still too soon to predict how hard the flu will hit the Maritimes this year, but he's hopeful the more effective vaccine will reduce the number of people admitted to hospital, or deaths associated with the virus.
Phyllis Coughran, public health immunization manager for the Alabama Department of Public Health for Calhoun and surrounding counties, said the Calhoun County Health Department's supply of flu vaccine hasn't been in high demand yet.
Those at risk can get the flu vaccine from their local GP or pharmacist.
Officials say that even with the flu shot there is still a risk of catching influenza; however, it is more likely to be a much milder case than it would be without the shot.
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The health unit says the Middlesex-London area had 39 cases of laboratory-confirmed influenza A between December 25th and 31st with 19 people requiring hospitalization.
The flu continues to intensify across Pennsylvania, with about 2,000 cases reported across the state last week. Dr. Augenbraun stated (categorically) that because there is no live flu virus in flu shots, they can not cause the flu. "Flu also can make chronic medical problems worse", like increasing asthma attacks.
Flu symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches and fatigue.
For information about influenza and how to stay healthy, please visit www.cdc.gov/flu or http://flu.idaho.gov or contact Southeastern Idaho Public Health at 208-233-9080.
The flu vaccine is by far the best means available to protect against the flu. We asked Dr. Augenbraun if someone at the ATM-just before you coughed on the keys or used a subway pole after coughing into their hand-is it possible for the virus to be transmitted?
The state flu report looks at positive flu tests coming from emergency departments and most hospitals in the state.
- Avoid being exposed to people who are sick with flu-like symptoms.