Flu Season Getting Even Worse, Especially For Children — CDC

The number of Americans hospitalized for influenza has increased to the highest levels in almost 10 years, according to the CDC's most recent flu update published Friday.

More than 35,000 cases and at least 65 deaths have been reported statewide - including Kyler Baughman, a seemingly healthy 21-year-old man from Latrobe.

Brenda Fitzgerald resigned as head of the CDC Wednesday, a day after Politico reported Fitzgerald's purchase of tobacco stock after she took the position at the nation's top public health agency. Any patients suffering a fever above 100° Fahrenheit and with a cough and/or sore throat are for both influenza and pneumonia.

The health ministry asked local departments to keep guiding residents on flu prevention measures and to focus on early detection and quarantine work. But the epidemic is accelerating.

The California Department of Public Health's Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses Weekly Report for January 7 to 13, 2018 reported that Influenza A (H3N2) viruses are more widespread this season.

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So, yes, you can get the flu twice in one season. That means the number of weekly cases could triple, and the peak number of deaths could be substantially higher.

She also suggests recognizing the "bubble" - staying 3 feet away from someone with the flu.

The CDC reports that this year with the flu being so prevalent the rapid flu test is not as accurate, compared to when flu activity is relatively low or within normal ranges.

The cold winter in many parts of the country may also have played a role, keeping people indoors and helping flu bugs to spread, said Dr. David Weber, a University of North Carolina flu expert.

Recent research has found that this year's flu vaccine is a poor match - less than 20 per cent - with the circulating strain of Influenza A, but a better match - about 55 per cent - with the circulating B strain.

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"Absolutely, we are having a different flu season than they are south of the border", says Dr. Michelle Murti, a public health physician at Public Health Ontario.

The absolute best protection against the flu is to get a flu shot, even though the vaccine is far from foolproof.

With the vaccine more effective against the B strain, she said, "this is another reason why it is not too late to be immunized". If you catch the flu in the beginning, chances are you will not feel as bad AND it won't last as long.

Johnson County schools have had a large increase in flu activity.

To help boost these rates, UCSB Student Health offers flu vaccination clinics. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about receiving the flu vaccination.

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If you appear to have flu symptoms, you should stay at home and avoid contact with other people, except to get medical attention.

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