Flu now epidemic, number of fatal pediatric cases rises to 20 — CDC

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"For children and adults with the flu, the best thing they can do is stay home and rest", said Dr. Lisa Santora, Deputy Public Health Officer.

The department notes there were no influenza outbreaks reported in Newfoundland and Labrador so far during this flu season.

Health care clinics are seeing up to 90 patients a day with flu-like symptoms in the Austin area.

"Students all being in classrooms together, between A&M and Blinn, we are anxious about it", said Kristen Christian, the Director of Emergency services for CHI St. Joseph. Almost 6,500 people have been hospitalized since the season started in October.

Much of this season's concern can be traced to Australia and other countries in the Southern Hemisphere, which struggled with a severe flu strain called H3N2. "The vaccine has a harder time covering that one particular strain".

A team of Spanish researchers studied the effect of repeated influenza vaccination in a sample of people aged 65 and over admitted to 20 Spanish hospitals during the winters of 2013/2014 and 2014/2015. For the first time in 13 years - for as long as they have been monitoring flu activity in this particular way - this is the first time we have seen nearly the same activity across the country.

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Flu symptoms may include fever, headache, tiredness, cough, sore throat, nasal congestion and body aches. "It is not too late to get a flu shot, and some people who are sick with influenza may need to be treated with an antiviral medication".

Those eight bring the total number of fatalities attributed to flu to 14 since October 1, 2017, or what the department considers the beginning of the flu season. William Beaumont Army Medical Center encourages people to protect themselves and their loved ones by getting the flu shot now. Scrub your hands for at least 30 seconds with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand cleaner. "Like shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, coughing", Chen said. You might still get the flu if you've been immunized - but you're still getting some benefit, Pedersen said.

The El Paso Health Department reports there are 1,163 confirmed cases reported so far this flu season, as compared to 252 cases this time a year ago. Emergency room visits for influenza-like symptoms are up 130 percent, according to county health officials.

Hacker said new figures that will be released next week will show a continued uptick.

"We are ready for this sickness peak during flu season at all times, we just don't know when it is going to come". Dr. Levine says children are among the most vulnerable.

Health officials hope this year's flu season is peaking and the number of infected people will soon decline.

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