Sussex County Reacts to 3 Flu Deaths

Sussex County Reacts to 3 Flu Deaths

The Iowa Department of Public Health says a man from eastern Iowa is the first person to die from the flu in the 2018-19 season.

Those numbers are a jump from the fewer than 90 cases confirmed the week of December 8.

Despite the spike in cases, this is the typical pattern seen, and is on par with what was seen previous year as well, said Khan.

Martin says though cases in Minnesota are ramping up, it's still too early to tell if the strain is indeed H1N1.

Four adult deaths and one child death have been linked to the flu this season. One of the hardest hit areas now is Louisville Metro, which has confirmed more than 550 cases recently. The proportion of outpatient visits for influenza-like illness rose to 3.3 percent - 50 percent higher than the national baseline of 2.2 percent.

No new flu-related deaths were reported this week, keeping the season's total at three.

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According to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, from the beginning of the flu season in September to now, they've seen 32 people hospitalized with the flu in northeast Wisconsin. Overall, influenza is considered more intense than the common cold.

But people are taking no chances with this year's flu strain.

This expected rise would follow the pattern that is typical for most flu seasons, says Clare Rock, MBBCh, an assistant professor of medicine in the division of infectious diseases at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

"Many flu seasons have a biphasic appearance". But the good news is that H1N1 has been included in this year's annual flu vaccine. While you may feel that you are healthy and immune to the flu, vaccinating yourself helps protect others around you as well and prevents transmission of the virus.

"Those people, if they go out and get the vaccine now, in 10 days to two weeks they're going to have some protection and that may protect them against a substantial part of the season."

The dominant strain now circulating, called H1N1, is less likely to affect the elderly-a particularly vulnerable group-and it tends to be more sensitive to vaccination.

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