An Early….and Tough….Flu Season in Beatrice Area

Commons SOURCE

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.

As News 18 has previously reported, state health officials say the number of flu-related deaths in IN is now at 25.

Health officials said the boy was from Montgomery County.

Up until December 30, 2017, there were 11,275 laboratory-confirmed cases across the country, 74 per cent of which are attributed to influenza A. There have been a total of 1,050 influenza-related hospitalizations and 34 deaths across the country. Some protection is better than none, and the flu may be less severe in people who have been vaccinated. This includes babies and young children, pregnant women, people with chronic health conditions and people 65 years and older.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention says flu activity in the USA increased sharply during the first week of January, and is now categorized as widespread in 46 states.

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The department says it can take up to two weeks to build full immunity to influenza following a vaccination, so people should get flu shots immediately. H3N2-dominant flu seasons are associated with more severe illness, especially among children and older adults.

The influenza is in its peak months in January and February, and, during the last week of 2017, "influenza activity increased sharply in the United States", the CDC said.

"Even if it's not a good match and even if you do get sick, you have a milder version of the disease, so hopefully you don't have to be hospitalized ... and you may not expire", he said. Earlier reports had said Australia's flu vaccine was only 10 percent effective, but that doesn't mean US vaccines rated the same. Vaccine effectiveness against other circulating flu viruses has been about 60 percent for H1N1 viruses, and around 50 percent for influenza B viruses. Flu vaccination is available at most healthcare providers' offices, local health departments and retail pharmacies.

"These antiviral medications can reduce the severity of the flu and prevent serious flu complications", Koenig said.

Schneider said influenza is a very common viral infection, that for most people, just causes fatigue, body aches, a low-grade fever and other minor symptoms for a few days.

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