Published: Sun, January 07, 2018
Worldwide | By Victor Meyer

Fraser Health issues flu shot reminder after outbreaks

Fraser Health issues flu shot reminder after outbreaks

The agency said that almost 2,500 people have been hospitalized for flu-related symptoms and that 13 children have died of the virus in the current season, which started in October.

Nurse Lisa Maynard said they've had one confirmed flu hospitalization there, but they've seen a 29 percent increase in flu like cases in the past few months in Bryan County. Cases don't usually peak until later in January or February.

"In the last week, we have noticed a significant increase in influenza outbreaks across our region", said medical health officer Dr. Martin Lavoie.

Dallas County reports this season, about 30 percent of flu tests from hospital labs were coming back positive in late December. People 65 and older accounted for most of the recent admissions - 81 of 130.

"Sometimes, the variation doesn't go the way we think it's going to", explained Rogers, "so it doesn't offer as much of a protection as we would like".

During this same week previous year only twelve states had reported widespread flu activity.

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The department says it's not too late to get vaccinated, and that there are still plenty available across the state.

NHS England's letter said: 'The adjuvanted trivalent flu vaccine is now considered to be the only licensed cost-effective option for this group'.

Experts say the flu season may be more severe this year with the dominant strain being H3N2.

"The nasal spray vaccine past year reduced children's risk of flu by 65% meaning they were less likely to spread it to relatives and others they come into close with. We recommend it particularly for folks in the high-risk groups - young children, the elderly, pregnant mothers and those with chronic illnesses".

"The earlier you get treated, the better", Rasnake said. Influenza is easily spread from person to person, and an infected person can spread the virus before they develop symptoms.

Suffoletto said it's crucial to take the small steps, such as covering your mouth when coughing or sneezing and washing your hands.

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