CDC cancels nuclear disaster talk, changes topic to flu epidemic

The Nasty Business of Flu in Idaho

As of January 6, the latest week that has been analyzed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 86 percent of the flu strains identified are influenza A and of those 84.9 percent are A H3N2.

However, flu can be unsafe and even healthy people can sometimes experience serious complications.

But even with that peak, there could still be 11-13 more weeks of flu season, Jernigan warned. Request the "quadrivalent vaccine", the one that protects against four influenza strains, because one of the strains in circulation in Alabama (Type B/Yamagata) is only included in the quadrivalent vaccine. "If you have not done so already, get the flu vaccine - it's not too late". It looks like this season might be fairly similar to that, but it's a little hard to say until it's said and done and you can take a look at the data and really see what the differences are.

The flu is a very contagious respiratory illness. While it's true that you may still come down with the flu even after getting the shot, it doesn't mean that there's no benefit.

Before Christmas, flu cases in Johnson County were running behind last year's cases.

Speights notes that each strain of flu is different, and while this year's vaccination may be relatively weak (39% effective) in preventing H3N2, this season's most common strain, it still reduces illness severity and offers protection against other strains in circulation.

Tampa Bay area hospitals have reporting a sharp increase in the number of patients coming into emergency rooms with flu-like symptoms, but no one hospital seems overwhelmed by the number of patients. It is the first flu-related death of 2018 in Forsyth County.

The influenza A subtype H3N2 that appears to be most prevalent this year is particularly nasty, with more-severe symptoms including fever and body aches.

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Manufacturers shipped 151 million doses this flu season "so it should be readily available", CDC Director Brenda Fitzgerald said.

KM: Not necessarily. This strain is fairly similar to what we saw previous year, and certainly we've had very severe H3 seasons. He continued, "And then, do those things your mother told you to - wash your hands frequently, cover coughs and sneezes, and if you're sick, stay home".

As much as possible, avoid people who are sick.

A season total of nearly 31,000 cases were reported to the Department of Health and Senior Services through the first week of 2018, the last statistics available.

Past year the flu vaccine was found to be very effective against the B strain, with a 73 per cent risk reduction, but only moderately effective against the A (H3N2) strain, with a 37 per cent risk reduction.

That NMSS webpage is a good source of more detailed flu vaccine information with information related to specific disease-modifying drugs.

The statistics show over the last week there has been a 78% increase in the GP consultation rate with flu like illness, a 50% increase in the flu hospitalisation rate, and a 65% increase in the flu intensive care admission rate. She urged parents to take their child to the doctor if they are exhibiting any flu-like symptoms.

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