Minnesota flu season in full swing; 1 child death reported

Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Brian Prendingue administers a flu shot to Cryptologic Technician Seaman Raylene Rodriguez. U.S. Navy

Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Brian Prendingue administers a flu shot to Cryptologic Technician Seaman Raylene Rodriguez. U.S. Navy

Harris said most of the cases in Alabama are "normal season flu" and that nothing is out of the ordinary.

Kathy Harben, a spokeswoman for the agency, said the Tuesday session would now address guidance for health professionals on trying to reduce the spread of the flu and to help with shortages of antiviral medicines in some hard-hit areas.

It is "certainly welcomed as we work through this situation", he said.

By comparison, in the 2014-15 flu season, the total number of flu-related hospitalizations was 350, 65 of whom were admitted to intensive care.

The flu vaccine is still available at doctors' offices and pharmacies, and the sooner you get it, the better protection you can expect.

"So we're hot and heavy in the middle of the influenza season", Merritt said. Flu symptoms may include fever, cough, sore throat, headache, and/or muscle aches.

The flu in Georgia is spreading quickly, with hospitals reporting an increase of flu-related cases in recent weeks. In the first week of 2018 alone, 425 new cases were reported from 38 counties.

When comparing this year to last year, there is a significant difference, said Rains.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Friday that flu is now widespread in every state except Hawaii. That was an increase from 36 states the previous week. The A (H3N2) strain particularly affects older, more vulnerable age groups.

"Type A, H3N2 seems to be the significant culprit", Honeycutt said. So far this season there have been 20 pediatric deaths, most from influenza A.

"If you keep about a three foot distance we know that the particles that are transmitted when you cough and sneeze, gravity pulls them down where you're not as likely to be exposed", he said. "You can see why hand hygiene is a critical element to stop the spread of influenza". Practice good hand hygiene - wash your hands with soap and water or a hand-sanitizing product liberally - before and after eating, going to the bathroom, spending time in high-traffic settings such as the mall or airport.

Influenza (also known as the flu) activity is now widespread in most of the USA, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Her 12-year-old son came home with the bug around the holidays, then her two youngest kids got sick and she did, too.

He implored all at-risk Bahamians to get vaccinated to avoid catastrophic health risks from the new strain, dubbed Aussie Flu.

Stacey Anderson of the DPHHS Communicable Disease Epidemiology section agrees.

"But the vaccine covers a lot more than just the H3N2 strain", Honeycutt said. Flu vaccine can vary in how well it works, but remains the best way to prevent illness and flu complications, including those that can lead to hospitalization.

With January A&E waiting times the joint-worst on record, it is feared that many hospitals would struggle to cope with a flu epidemic should it hit in the midst of the NHS winter crisis.

Meanwhile bird flu was confirmed in 17 wild birds in Dorset yesterday although the Government said the risk to people's health is "very low". Even so, it could go on for another 13 weeks.

- Children under the age of 18 are not allowed to visit the hospital.

Recommended News

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.