'Japanese Flu' which affects children most has spread to UK

Public health officials have announced eight more flu-related deaths in Iowa.

- The last two weeks have seen an explosion of influenza cases in Minnesota and even one death related to the outbreak, leading experts to warn that this year could be among the worst in recent memory when it comes to the illness. However, those are only cases confirmed by a lab.

Young children are being vaccinated for free because they are what experts call "super shedders", meaning they excrete more of the virus because their immune systems can not distinguish between what makes them ill and what will kill them. "When Influenza A H3N2 is the prominent strain, it tends to be more a little bit more genetically unstable".

Officials made the decision to review the deaths "because this flu season is so impactful", McDowell said, and officials are trying to monitor the situation. The doctor said it's important to receive the influenza vaccine even if it's not 100 percent effective.

Already, 26 people died from the flu in North Carolina.

Symptoms of the flu include fever, headache, cough, runny or stuffy nose, fatigue and muscle aches.

"The most common flu strain identified in Kentucky and in the 36 deaths is Influenza A, added Department for Public Health's State Epidemiologist, Dr. Jonathan Ballard".

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Dr. Perry Kendall, British Columbia's provincial health officer, says the national number of flu cases is slightly above average, but what's unusual is the strain people are contracting.

At Cone Health Hospitals - doctors are seeing higher numbers of flu patients every week.

Arizona has recorded one child flu death due so far, and two other deaths are under investigation.

The CDC recommends a flu shot for everyone over the age of 6 months, unless you have a specific medical reason to skip it (such as an allergy to the vaccine).

"Those most likely to get it, and to suffer a more severe illness, are the elderly or immunocompromised [long-term steroids, those on immune-modifying drugs or chemotherapy for instance], those with long-term health conditions, children and pregnant ladies". According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children below five years old have an increased risk of developing serious complications related to the flu. Health officials are urging anyone with any sign of flu symptoms to stay home so they don't put others at risk.

If you are sick with flu-like illness, the CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities.

Flu season is about to hit its peak, and while flu cases are spiking across the country, the case is not the same in Nova Scotia.

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