2017-18 flu season expected to be one of worst in years

Monroe County reports first flu death of season

Effectively battling bug

Up until December 30, 2017, there were 11,275 laboratory-confirmed cases across the country, 74 per cent of which are attributed to influenza A. There have been a total of 1,050 influenza-related hospitalizations and 34 deaths across the country.

There have been 3,854 total flu-associated hospitalizations in OH since flu season began last October, according to ODH. Coordinator of Infection Prevention and Employee Health at Beatrice Community Hospital, Rose Wischmeier, says the hospital saw a spike in activity during the first couple of weeks, in December within its' clinics and emergency department.

The health department said a one-year-old boy from Lucas County, Ohio has died from the flu.

Harding said the main reason for the rough flu season stems from the Centers for Disease Control missing the mark on the vaccine to combat the current strain. "This season is a mirrored reflection of 2013-2014, which was one of the more serious flu seasons of the past decade". That's why getting the flu vaccination is the safest and most effective way to prevent the flu for everyone 6 months and older.

Healthy lifestyle habits can also protect you from seasonal illness.

As flu activity increases in Los Angeles County this week - killing almost three times as many people as at the same point previous year - public health officials have a message: It's not too late to get vaccinated.

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Officials say this will be a "very substantial influenza season", with the bug being especially bad in California where 27 deaths are linked to it.

As News 18 has previously reported, state health officials say the number of flu-related deaths in IN is now at 25. Vaccine effectiveness against other circulating flu viruses has been about 60 percent for H1N1 viruses, and around 50 percent for influenza B viruses.

Flu symptoms can come on suddenly with a fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, headache and fatigue, though not everyone with the flu runs a fever, Rohler noted.

The months of January and February often bring more patients with flu symptoms into waiting rooms of physician offices, urgent care centers and hospital emergency departments. Antiviral drugs work best when administered within two days of getting sick.

Individuals with flu symptoms, particularly those with risk factors such as pregnancy, diabetes, heart disease, asthma, kidney disease, and children age five and younger, should talk to their health care providers about antiviral medication.

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