Medicine

Influenza activity up around the state

Influenza activity up around the state

The Centers for Disease Control report that influenza is considered "widespread" in 36 states.

"Usually in other years we see Influenza B towards the end of the flu season, generally in February". The flu virus can live on a surface for a few hours after exposure, so it is of vital importance to have proper hygiene, Modi said. "We really believe we can do better than to have to guess every single year what to include in the vaccine and hope it's a good enough match", she said.

"This death is a sad reminder that flu can be deadly, especially for people at risk for severe disease", said Stanislaus County Public Health Officer Dr. Julie Vaishampayan.

In a typical year, the flu vaccine is expected to be 40 percent to 60 percent effective, the CDC says.

A homeless person is flu vaccinated as she registered to enter as transitional camp area for homeless people at the city's works yard in San Diego, California, U.S., October 9, 2017.

The strain of flu that caused the most harm in the Southern Hemisphere was H3N2, which is now circulating here.

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The new "universal" vaccine uses genetic material of the influenza virus - the part that doesn't mutate - and teaches your body to recognize it. "H3N2 viruses continue to predominate".

Cases of influenza across Wisconsin have been growing at a rapid rate in recent weeks.

Modi said it is not too late to get the vaccine.

While most flu deaths in the USA occur among the elderly, children and even healthy adults can be susceptible. Nine children have died across the United States through December 16. Pharmacies also have flu shots available but do not give flu shots to children younger than seven years of age. The states with "minimal flu activity" include Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Montana, New Hampshire, Ohio, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin. Three children died from flu related complications.

And worryingly its symptoms are identical to those of a normal flu - sore throat, headache, fever, muscle ache, runny nose, sneezing and fatigue.

"This extra line of protection is needed right now in order to reduce the risk of exposing patients, visitors and hospital staff to the flu virus", said Christopher Doehring, MD, vice president of medical affairs.


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