Brutal flu season could get even worse

Deadly flu spreads across the UK

"We watch flu very carefully throughout the health authority".

The potential for lower vaccine effectiveness makes it even more important that Canadians take "other measures" to protect themselves against the flu, she said, including handwashing, coughing into your sleeve, disposing of used tissues, and staying home when you're sick. "So, we recommend getting vaccinated as soon as possible", the KCDC official said.

"It is not too late to get vaccinated".

In its weekly FluWatch report, the Public Health Agency of Canada says there were 11,277 laboratory-confirmed cases of flu across the country as of December 30 - about 70 per cent attributed to H3N2 - with more than 1,000 influenza-related hospitalizations and 34 deaths.

The health authorities attributed the quick spread of flu to the outbreak of influenza A and influenza B at the same time. "It's really common sense", Hassoun said.

The Type A virus can impact children and the elderly the most.

But they're describing this influenza season - which has seen a mix of two strains dominating - as unusual. It's unclear if the person received a flu vaccination.

The state health department also urges people with flu-like symptoms to contact their physician or visit an urgent care facility to keep emergency rooms available for people who are critically ill.

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Flu-Associated Hospitalizations: Since October 1, 2017, 3,927 laboratory-confirmed influenza-associated hospitalizations have been reported through the Influenza Hospitalization Network (FluSurv-NET), a population-based surveillance network for laboratory-confirmed influenza-associated hospitalizations.

"The "Aussie flu", H3N2, is the same strain that was circulating previous year and is not unusual", she added. There have been 34 reported deaths.

Churches in Northern Ireland have even banned the "sign of peace" handshakes in an effort to curb the risk of infection which has caused one death in the Republic of Ireland.

Additional information on pediatric deaths is available on FluView Interactive at:

PHAC's flu surveillance data are consistent with what health-care providers are observing, said Dr. Isaac Bogoch, an infectious disease specialist at University Health Network in Toronto. "Certainly we're seeing that in the hospital", he said.

Pharmacies throughout the West Coast are reporting inadequate supplies of Tamiflu, an antiviral medication considered among the most effective in reducing severe flu symptoms.

This year's flu vaccine is also considered to be only about 10% - 30% percent effective, and doctors are also having to treat two different strains of the virus.

"Even though it's not ideal, it's still the best protection we have".

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