State's first pediatric flu death reported in Essex County

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Jennifer Thomas, nursing director and administrator at the Mason County Health Department, said flu season can begin as early as September and last as long as April.

Across the country, health officials have been urging people to get vaccinated for the flu.

Governor John Carney is also sending an email to all state and school district employees on how to further prevent the spread of flu in DE, including by getting a flu vaccine and staying home from work if sick.

And while flu usually hits people over 65 the hardest, the CDC says it's seeing more people aged 50 to 64 being hospitalized.

Lopez said one of the biggest misconceptions during flu season is that the flu shot makes people sick and gives them the flu.

"We always say there's no confirmed reports until the end of the season for adult deaths attributed to the flu, so we don't have a real good number on that", he said. "So, while we may be seeing increases in respiratory illnesses in the state, they are not necessarily from influenza". If you get flu symptoms, in most cases you should stay home and avoid contact with other people except to get medical care.

The Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) defines flu activity in Montana as widespread.

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Vaccine effectiveness data for this season are not available yet, but we know flu vaccines do not work as well against H3N2 viruses, which are predominant so far this season.

"There might be a second wave of influenza B infections", she said.

"More deaths are related to that strain of virus than would normally be expected", he said. Officials also recommend getting flu vaccinations and using antiviral drugs, like Tamiflu, to help combat the severity of the illness. "People need to take it serious and get the shot", said the staffer, who asked not to be identified because he is not authorized to give official statements. We're not having the major impact (from the flu) that other districts are having.

It's not too late to get a flu shot, but McMahan suggested people first call their doctor or pharmacist to check availability.

But we all know the flu shot, while helpful - particularly for those in high risk groups like the young, old and those with chronic diseases or immune deficiencies - is not flawless.

Local mom Taisha Madero rushed her children over after school. The child had experienced flu-like symptoms including fever and difficulty breathing.

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