Flu Widespread in 36 States, Deaths Reported: CDC

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However, that flu shot is said to only be 10-percent effective because one of the flu strains mutated, making the vaccine ineffective. "So far this year, in the state of Texas, more than 50% of all tests for flu were positive." said Anton.

The strain of flu that caused the most harm in the Southern Hemisphere was H3N2, which is now circulating here. The DNA-based approach could also offer a mechanism for vaccines for other viruses like Zika.

The seriousness of the illness for patients comes largely from the particular strain of the virus being contracted, known as Influenza A or H3N2. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine every season.

For more information on influenza vaccination, illness and reducing your risk of contracting the flu, please visit www.cdc.gov or contact the Chautauqua County Department of Health & Human Services, Public Health Division at 1-866-604-6789.

Cases of influenza across Wisconsin have been growing at a rapid rate in recent weeks. "That's why getting the vaccine is important". Pharmacies also have flu shots available but do not give flu shots to children younger than seven years of age.

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The last year with early widespread cases of flu, similar to this year, was 2014-2015.

Thousands of Americans die of the virus each year. Five of the 12 were between the ages of five and 11, while three were between the ages of six and 23 months and two were between the ages of two and four.

People experiencing flu-like symptoms should call their health care provider if they have severe symptoms like trouble breathing, are pregnant or have chronic health conditions such as lung or heart disease or diabetes. Common symptoms include fever and chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle and body aches, headaches and fatigue.

"First is if someone is sick make sure you stay home, don't go around too many people", he said.

After getting the flu vaccine, it's still important to practice good health habits to protect yourself from the flu and other viruses, and to prevent spreading them to others if you do get sick.

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