CDC: Flu is widespread but season may be peaking

Eastern Health

Eastern Health

Washoe County health officials have confirmed two more flu-related deaths.

According to the Amarillo Public Health Department, there have been 3,303 cases in Randall and Potter counties alone.

The flu season is intensifying in CT and the state Department of Public Health said hundreds of hospitalizations and 15 deaths of residents who are 65 years old and older are alarming. To protect the family's privacy, the Department can only confirm that the death occurred downstate.

The number of cases in Saskatchewan is up 80 percent from past year, something Werker says should not worry people in the province.

Numerous confirmed flu cases involve a strain known as H3N2, which health officials warn doesn't respond well to flu vaccinations, though they still encourage people to get flu shots.

The 19 CommUnityCare Health Centers in Travis County report they have received up to 90 patients a day with flu-like symptoms since mid-December, according to Central Health, which funds the centers.

"There has been a very rapid increase in the numbers of people coming in to see their doctors".

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And while flu activity may be peaking, Jernigan warned there will still be several weeks of activity, which will likely see more infections caused by influenza B strains. And the Washington Post shared the story of Kyler Baughman, a 21-year-old fitness buff and aspiring personal trainer from Pennsylvania who thought he could push through the illness but ended up dying when the flu progressed to organ failure and septic shock.

"Even though it's not ideal, it's still the best protection we have", said Dr. Isaac Bogoch, an infectious disease specialist at University Health Network in Toronto.

Experts say the flu shot may be only 30% effective this year, but can still reduce the severity of symptoms for people who get the flu.

Symptoms of the flu vary but can include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue.

"This is the first year that we've had the entire continental U.S.be the same color on the graph, meaning that there is widespread activity in all of the continental U.S.at this point", added Dan Jernigan, director of the Influenza Division of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.

Avoid close contact with sick people.

"Be sure to wash your hands, particularly if you are sick yourself", Harris said. Alcohol based gels are the next best thing if you don't have accessto soap and water. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill.

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