Flu Outbreak Claims One Victim, Sickens More Than 176 In Marin County

Street13 Jan 2018 Newport Beach CA0 13 Jan 2018 13 Jan 2018

The number of people stricken by flu continues to rise across the country, with 15,572 laboratory-confirmed cases for the season as of January 6, the Public Health Agency of Canada says. Statewide there have been 27 flu deaths of patients under the age of 65.

AL.com reported that hospitals in seven of the state's eight health districts were at 90 percent capacity on Friday.

"It still means we have a lot more flu to go", said Dr. Dan Jernigan, director of the CDC's Influenza Division at the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.

"We are seeing widespread flu activity across the state", said David Morgan, public information officer for the Southwest Region of the New Mexico Department of Health. "In total, there have been 113 influenza associated hospital admissions since the beginning of this season and over 65% of those patients are aged 65 years and above", said the report.

Morgan said H3N2 is the dominant strain this year, making the vaccine somewhat less effective.

Some symptoms too look out for include a dry cough, body aches and a fever. "Antivirals can reduce severity of illness and are recommended for those at high-risk for flu complications: the elderly, children, pregnant women, and persons with chronic medical conditions". Flu viruses circulate in the Southern Hemisphere before they hit the United States, so the flu season in Australia can predict how bad flu season will be in the U.S.

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Officials, cautioned, however, that the hospitalization rate for the flu so far this year is slightly below the 2014-2015 rate. Any protection is better than none. "Most of the in-patients are here for medical reasons other than the flu", Dossey said.

According to the TDH, people can be sick with the flu and transmit it up to 24 hours before they feel symptoms. It also reported that 1,200 people had tested positive for the flu, a number that experts say is likely much higher. Since then, emergency rooms have been crowded with long wait times, and patients have struggled to get doctor appointments as well as flu medications.

As we continue to see the number of people diagnosed with the flu increase we are also seeing pharmacies running low and in some cases running out of the antiviral drugs used to shorten the duration of the flu.

It's unclear whether flu season this year has peaked, so Pedersen is recommending that people who haven't been immunized get that done.

Jones says she has seen more flu cases this year than last.

"This year, we've seen a mixture of A and B, so both young and old people being affected".

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