Medicine

Officials report 4 more flu deaths in NC

Officials report 4 more flu deaths in NC

The City of St. Joseph Health Department said it offers flu shots until spring, when the vaccine expires. And among the 54 jurisdictions in the flu surveillance system (every state plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands), 50 reported "regional" or "widespread" flu activity at the end of past year. We are really pushing vaccines because flu season lasts until the end of March which means we have three more months' worth of cases. There have been over 10,000 lab-confirmed cases this season, according to county data.

Health officials said the A strain is the most prevalent this season.

Yamagata is a category "B" strain of flu.

Another result of the harsh flu season is the number of influenza outbreaks in Kentucky's long-term care facilities.

Experts say this year's flu vaccine is only 30% effective, saying the H3N2 strain, is tough to fight.

The tragic incidents should serve as a reminder for parents to have their children administered with flu shots, as they are the most vulnerable to the disease.

"Classic influenza is upper respiratory, so coughing, sore throat, runny nose, but we have also been seeing nausea and vomiting associated with those upper respiratory symptoms as well", she said.

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"As kids return to school from winter break, we expect influenza cases to significantly increase", said Dr. Cara Christ, director of the Arizona Department of Health Services.

Public health officials continued to press the public to get flu shots, saying it wasn't too late, and that the vaccine offered flawless protection against three of the four strains.

"There's plenty of time to get the vaccine and there's no problem with the supply of the vaccine".

Shelly Harkins says that people should take any precaution they can to prevent the spread of the flu.

Jernigan projected this year will be worse than the 2012-13 flu season, during which H3N2 was prevalent and there were about 56,000 estimated deaths.

The prominent strain in this year's flu season was H3N2. After consultation and request from healthcare and public health partners, ADHS is advising ill people to only seek emergency medical care if they are at high risk for serious complications or are experiencing severe symptoms. If you start on anti-viral medications within a day or two of when your symptoms start, your risk of serious disease, hospitalization and even death can be reduced. Get an annual flu shot, cover coughs and sneezes with the crook of the arm, wash hands with warm soap and water, and stay home if sick.

Montgomery County health officials confirmed a man in his 70s died January 9 due to the flu.


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