Tips to Help Businesses Beat the Flu Season

Influenza Vaccine

Children are bearing the brunt of this year's flu season, health officials say

A total of seven influenza-associated pediatric deaths have been reported for the 2018-2019 season across the United States including one in the latest reporting period.

You can get your flu shot from your health care provider, the local public health unit and most pharmacies for free.

State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said, "We strongly encourage anyone who has not yet gotten the flu vaccine to get one immediately to combat this significant threat to public health".

He says it takes about two weeks for the vaccine to take effect, so he suggests getting it as soon as possible.

Figures released by the Public Health Agency of Canada's FluWatch report show that more than three times as many children have been hospitalized across the country compared to this time past year.

Both CHU Sainte-Justine in Montreal and The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in Toronto say they have seen many children with pneumonia recently, although it's not clear whether those cases are linked to the flu.

Pre-K students in CT will need to verify they received a flu shot prior to starting class in 2019.

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The flu is a contagious respiratory disease caused by different strains of the influenza virus.

Physicians in Colorado have been busy seeing patients suffering from coughs, sore throats and the flu. When infected persons cough, sneeze, or talk, they can spread influenza viruses in respiratory droplets to people who are nearby. However, children and older adults are often times hit much harder and become critically ill. People might also get flu by touching a contaminated surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth or nose.

FluWatch figures show that-as of December 15-some 8,242 cases of the flu in both adults and children have been confirmed. It is important to get the flu shot on time, especially for vulnerable groups such as pregnant women, children, and older adults.

That means it's possible that by the end of the flu season, the total number of children hospitalized may be the same as previous year, but simply happened earlier.

Choosing to get the flu shot - for yourself and for your children - is a "no-brainer", Bogoch said.

People with chronic health conditions and people who are under 5 years of age or over 65 years of age are considered high-risk.

"We are happy to help anybody we can", Haeggquist said.

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