Jefferson County Department of Health specialist offers tips to avoid the flu

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Flu is now widespread in every state except Hawaii, but the good news is the season appears to already be peaking. A patient with serious complications can be transferred to a hospital, if necessary.

"There's lots of flu in lots of places", he said.

In Maine, the number of hospitalizations increased by 53 last week, with 10 new outbreaks, according to a January 9 update from the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

The flu has taken the lives of a 20-year-old Arizona mom, a 21-year-old Pennsylvania fitness enthusiast, and a 51-year-old MA mother of two in recent weeks. Data from the provincial report showed the vaccination rate in the province has climbed a measly 1% from 19%, but it's not too late.

"It's earlier than normal, so there's the worry now that is this going to grumble on compared to previous year - mid February, late February", he said.

According to the CDC, there were 22.7 hospitalizations per 100,000 people in the USA last week - up from 13.7 the previous week. The CDC advises to still get the shot.

Pleasant Valley Hospital has seen a significant increase in patients with flu-related symptoms.

"That's the reason why we do want to restrict", Matthew said.

It will be a tremendous help to Alabama hospital, said Jeff Rains, CEO of Baptist Medical Center East.

In Chicago, paramedics have been forced to wait at ERs with patients for as long as two hours for an open spot. But leaving to limit the potential exposure of coworkers is one of the very steps he routinely advises the public to take during flu season.

Kinsa Health
Kinsa Health

Meanwhile, some are finding cold and flu relief in other ways, such as intravenous therapy.

Seven more children have died of the flu in the past week, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"Our information so far suggests that vaccine effectiveness against the predominant H3 viruses will probably be somewhere around what we saw in the 2016-2017 season, which was in the 30% range". Levine says with multiple strains out there, it's better late than never.

"So many times I hear the comment 'I got the flu shot but I still got the flu.' It may be true but unless we test you for that, most likely you did come down with some other illness".

According to the report, the flu has the biggest influence on people over the age of 65.

Just a few weeks now separate the most wonderful time of the year from the most awful time of the year.

Hospitalizations of the elderly are climbing.

So because of these varying factors, it is not possible to produce a vaccine that is 100% effective.

One of the strains of influenza circulating the United Kingdom this year is a type of A flu known as H3N2. (After all, they want to infect humans.) So in the end, the flu viruses that end up in vaccines look a little different than the ones circulating out in the world. But her 48-year-old Navy veteran husband, Shawn Burrough, landed in the hospital.

"It's not just for yourself, it's so you don't pass it on".

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