Flu season ramping up as Pa heads into holiday

Flu season ramping up as Pa heads into holiday
Flu season ramping up as Pa heads into holiday
Author

24 December, 2017

"The flu is a potentially fatal virus that can spread even before symptoms arise, so it is important to observe these restrictions and protect patients", said Dr. Gail Stanley at Bristol Regional Medical Center.

Katherine Killen with the Knox County Health Department said Knox County is seeing a steady increase in flu activity, which is typical for this time of year.

She's urging all Winnipeggers to get the free flu shot from their family doctor, public health nurse or pharmacy, despite some evidence in Western Canada suggesting that it's not as effective this year as it has been in past years.

Both hospitals said they recorded 54 cased of the flu on December 3, which more than doubled to 140 the following week.

So far this flu season, the health unit has confirmed 18 cases of influenza.

While most people are ill for only a few days some may require hospital treatment, and among those at highest risk, the virus can be lethal.

Two influenza related deaths were reported last week.

"The numbers are low compared to what everyone else is seeing across the province, so we just want to keep a close eye on it", says Ahmed.

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"Most importantly though: wash your hands and don't share food or personal items with people who are sick". Over the last three seasons, there have been 19 pediatric influenza deaths in NY and an average of 11,183 influenza-related hospitalizations each season.

"We are seeing people impacted by the flu at all ages", WRHA acting chief operating officer Lori Lamont said on Friday.

"It's still possible to get a flu shot, but it takes two weeks for the vaccine to be effective", Burton said. According to the CDC's flu forecasting website, the average of the statistical models researchers have created expect the number of people showing up at doctor's offices with a fever and a cough or sore throat will peak around the middle of January 2018.

"Other than that, good hygiene, washing your hands with warm soapy water and covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze", Brake said, adding, "If you are sick, stay home so other people aren't exposed".

The Health Department has the vaccine available.

Kentucky health officials said they've also seen flu activity emerging earlier than normal and anticipates it will continue for several months.

Vaccinations are especially recommended for anyone who is elderly, pregnant, or has a weakened immune system.


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