HSE issues warning over serious new flu strain

Woman with flu

Woman with flu

After a slow start, influenza is beginning to take hold across the U.S. The good news is that it's unlikely to be as bad as last season, when nearly 80,000 Americans died.

N.C. Division of Public Health monitors influenza hospital visits and deaths, and so far the spread of the virus in-state has a familiar pattern.

Although prevention isn't always effective, she says it's pretty simple.

"People with symptoms should stay at home and children should not attend school if showing signs of flu", he added.

Minnesota's flu season runs from around October to May, Schultz said.

According to the CDC, flu activity is high in Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and Virginia.

The CDC recommends that people get a flu shot before the season actually begins, but if you didn't fall in that category this year, that's alright because vaccinations are still being offered right now during the peak of flu season.

Dr. William Schaffner, who studies the flu, says that's not unusual; when flu kills a child, it often happens quickly.

"The timing and duration of flu seasons vary - they can occur from early fall to late spring - so you should get the vaccine as soon as it's available", said Cynthia Robotti, DNP, RN, PHCNS-C, nurse manager for the Pittsylvania-Danville Health District.

Even though flu season is well underway, it's not too late to get the flu vaccine, says Rock.

A new form of vaccine has come in the form of a nasal spray, and has been recommended for healthy, non-pregnant persons ages 2-49.

In 1918, H1N1 flu killed 50 million people around the world.

Some, like Michael Cohen of Sussex County says he previously resisted the flu shot, but is happy he got one.

Wash your hands often and avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

People who are very sick or who are at high risk of serious flu complications and experience flu-like symptoms should see a healthcare provider promptly for possible treatment with a flu antiviral drug, says Nordlund.

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