Still time to get flu shots: Sherlock

As flu outbreak numbers rise, the HSE says it's not too late to get your vaccine

Flu activity begins to spike across country

Flu season is here and the LaSalle County Health Department is urging everyone 6 months and older to get vaccinated against seasonal influenza (flu).

"What I can tell you is that the people who have been hospitalized and the deaths that were associated with the flu this year are people who have not been immunized, a majority of them have not been immunized", said Dr. Jennifer Russell, chief medical officer of health for New Brunswick.

No visitors with flu symptoms.

This statement indicates there is a limited supply of influenza vaccines available for free in San Antonio, Texas, which has a population over 1.5 million people.

By the end of October 2018, 185 pediatric deaths from flu complications were reported to the CDC, with 80 percent of deaths occurring in children who hadn't been vaccinated against influenza.

The hospital has not set a date when they anticipate to lift the restriction, but said that they will continue monitoring news about the flu season and then assess whether it will be safe to welcome children visitors back.

Albeit the current flu season had a slow start, the number of cases is steadily climbing. At this point in the 2017-2018 flu season, 46 states were reporting widespread flu activity, there were 13.7 flu hospitalizations per 100,000 people and nearly 6% of doctor's visits were related to the flu.

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This time past year, there was a strong flu strain, forcing hospital facilities to impose strict visiting restrictions which remained in place ever since. Flu activity is usually highest between December and February, although activity can last as late as May.

This year, we are seeing influenza A H1N1 and H3N2, and influenza B viruses. The H1N1 strain is predominant.

A spokesperson for the HSE said that the best way to protect yourself is to get the flu vaccine.

"Flu is now beginning to circulate, and as schools reopen and people return to work we are likely to see increased levels".

While the past flu season was noted it for its higher rate of severe infections-due to the mutated strain being less affected by vaccination strains-clinicians compared it to similarly hard seasons, including the 2014-15 and 2012-13 seasons.

Pregnant women, children younger than five years old, adults 65 and older, and people with chronic medical conditions, such as heart disease, asthma and diabetes should contact their doctors immediately if they experience flu symptoms.

Although most people who get the flu recover within a few days or a couple of weeks, some can develop pneumonia and life-threatening complications.

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