Flu Season, The Worst In Years, Could Get Even Worse

Canine with dog influenza

Dog influenza has been confirmed in 46 states

The CDC and San Francisco Health Department report that we are at the peak of the flu season, which started early this year.

Here are the percentages of emergency room visits from people who reported flu-like symptoms at area hospitals during the week ending January 6. "Whether you have the flu or the GI, take care of yourself and try to keep it from spreading".

"During cold weather, people will congregate more together inside and then the virus can be spread easier", said Dr. Mary Beth Saunders, Lee Health's Medical Director of Epidemiology.

CNN reported that as of this past Friday, Jernigan said the "this is the first year we've had the entire continental U.S. at the same level (of flu activity) at the same time".

Some media reports have speculated that this year's flu shot will only be about 10% effective for Americans, based on results seen in Australia during its flu season.

"Most deaths have occurred in people with underlying health conditions or in people with no pre-existing conditions but who were elderly", the update stated.

Hughes said the number of cases being reported has jumped dramatically in just two weeks.

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"This is likely to be due to the lack of facilities, antibiotics and vaccines available".

The influenza A subtype H3N2 that appears to be most prevalent particularly is nasty, with more-severe symptoms including fever and body aches.

Roger's Pharmacy said they're still providing the flu vaccination for anyone who hasn't already received the shot.

People should also practice preventive care, wash their hands often, cover their cough or sneeze with their arm not their hand and if they do get sick or get flu-like symptoms, stay home from work for at least 24 hours.

The huge numbers of sick people are also straining hospital staff who are confronting what could become California's worst flu season in a decade.

Oxley says Thomas visited the hospital twice in two days - both times diagnosed with the flu and sent home to rest.

He tried to reiterate to the public that a flu shot is the best defense against influenza and that anti-viral medications like Tamiflu should never be considered a substitute for the vaccine. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death.

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