Sunday, 25 February, 2018

Connecticut officials report a steep increase in flu hospitalizations

Flu season in full swing, but not too late to get the vaccine, experts advise Northeastern Pennsylvania could be headed for rough flu season
Ben Pena | 16 January, 2018, 23:30

During the first week of 2018, the rate of flu-related hospitalizations in the United States climbed to 22.7 per 100,000 people - nearly double what it was the week before, according to data released late last week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

However, flu can be risky and even healthy people can sometimes experience serious complications.

Currently, 71.3% of adults over 65, 46.9% of adults with a long-term health condition, 45.5% of pregnant women, 40.8% of 3-year-olds and 42% of 2-year-olds have received the vaccine.

The CDC recommends people who have not been vaccinated get a flu shot to protect against those strains, which may become more prominent later in the season and to lessen the severity of symptoms if the H3N2 strain is contracted.

"Now is the time to get your flu vaccine if you have not already", said Kris Ehresmann, director of infectious disease at the Minnesota Department of Health. If a child is increasingly irritable or unusually sleepy, they need immediate medical care, Lehman says. There have been four confirmed flu-connected deaths in the state thus far, it said.

An annual influenza vaccination is recommended for everyone 6 months and older and is the best prevention against getting the flu.

The number of hospitalizations due to the flu continues to rise in Weld County with almost 80 hospitalized so far during the 2017-2018 influenza season, according to Weld County Health Department officials. "Which means we're seeing more hospitalized cases of influenza earlier in the season than we would typically see", said Gundersen Health System Infection Preventionist Megan Meller. Local healthcare providers are seeing an increased number of flu cases, and these numbers are expected to continue increasing.

The flu is sending more people to the doctor this year, according to a Rio Grande Valley health official. Now in SLO County, the flu season is well underway.

Cryptocurrencies resume slide as bitcoin tumbles to December low
Yonhap News reported a day earlier that unnamed financial authorities had made an announcement to the same effect. From Monday's high of $1.79, it lost about 25 percent before ticking up slightly.

Last fall, when the North American flu season was just gearing up, I posed this question to my readers: "Flu Shot or No Flu Shot for MS patients?".

"The flu vaccine offers the best defence against the most common strains of the virus circulating this year and has an excellent safety record". These numbers do not include all people who have had the flu, as many do not see a doctor when sick.

For more information call Jackson County Health Department at 580-482-7308.

It is also essential to practice good hygiene by properly and frequently washing your hands to help prevent the spread of seasonal flu.

Try to avoid close contact with sick people. Hospitalization rates are highest among people older than 50 and children younger than 5.

It's hard to know how San Diego's flu death numbers compare, on a per-capita basis, with the nation's or other major cities'.

"When people hear the vaccine isn't that effective, they assume there's no point in getting it - and that's very frustrating", she says, "The vaccine may not completely prevent the flu".

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