Widespread flu hits 46 states, over 900 hospitalized in OH alone

Flu cases increasing in East Tennessee

Australia, for example, had one of the worst flu seasons on record during its recent winter months, and Britain is now in the throes of flu activity so overwhelming that its National Health Service has recommended that hospitals delay all non-urgent surgeries to free-up beds and staff.

He said he has heard from patients, doctors and nurses who have not bothered with the flu shot because of concerns with its usefulness.

That's why the Sedgwick County Division of Health is offering free flu vaccines for uninsured residents.

"The flu vaccine offers the best defence against the most common strains of the virus circulating this year and has an excellent safety record". More than 1,000 hospitalizations have been reported, and at least 34 people have died, the report says. This graph from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention illustrates the spread of flu activity throughout different seasons and regions.

And among the 54 jurisdictions in the flu surveillance system (every state plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands), 50 reported "regional" or "widespread" flu activity at the end of a year ago.

Gunzenhauser said vaccination against influenza lowers one's chances of catching the flu or being a carrier.

465 people were hospitalized in oklahoma with the flu within the past four months. Christian said flu activity in Tennessee is widespread and officials are urging everyone over 6 months old to get a shot.

Can I get seasonal flu even though I got a flu vaccine this year?

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The best means to do so, of course, is through the simple and painless flu vaccine.

Twenty-seven people younger than 65 have died of the flu in California since October. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

That begins by getting your flu vaccine - sooner rather than later.

■ Know the signs of infection.

Clark also said that people should take extra precautions once they realize they have the flu.

Influenza symptoms can include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, chills and fatigue.

As Sietske de Fijter, chief of the Ohio Bureau of Infectious Diseases and the state epidemiologist, put it, "Vaccination is the safest and most effective way to prevent the flu".

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