Number of flu cases continue to rise

The flu vaccine is drawn from the vile into the needle at Crawford Kids Clinic in Aurora Colorado

Northern Health says data from health care visits and lab confirmation show influenza activity is also on the rise in Northern B.C. All healthcare workers are encouraged to also be vaccinated.

The predominant strain this year is influenza A H1N1, which officials say tends to have less severe symptoms than the predominant strain that circulated last season.

Flu vaccines are the best way to prevent influenza, according to public health experts, but there's always some guesswork in predicting the strain that will be most commonly circulating in the upcoming season.

Arkansas recorded 227 deaths last flu season, which was the most on record for the past three decades.

That has put an incredible strain on emergency units across the country, including the one at Montreal Children's Hospital. "Our peak numbers have been over 300 patients a day".

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On Thursday, the Oklahoma State Department of Health reported the first influenza-associated death in Oklahoma County for the 2018-2019 flu season. Amiran Gamkredlidze, the Head of the National Disease Control Center has stated that there is a ready supply of Tamiflu medication available free-of-charge for pregnant women, children, socially vulnerable persons, pensioners, and those suffering with certain diseases. In December of 2017 there were 13 hospitalizations. "We didn't know that this could happen to him because he's a totally healthy kid". "This year's vaccine is a good match for circulating strains and it is not too late to get the vaccine", he said. That, he added, will not happen again. "Although that was, thankfully, unique, we want never to see it repeated".

"Kids get influenza, but the ones who are getting it we're seeing more of because they're more severely ill than previous year", Hoyano added.

Q: If you do get the flu this season, is there anything you can do to help reduce the symptoms?

As we dive into winter, the best way to ensure you're protected is to get the influenza shot if you haven't already. Eighty-five per cent of children admitted to intensive care because of the flu are under the age of 10, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada.

For nearly everyone. The CDC recommends flu shots for anyone 6 months and older. If not, it isn't too late. Moreover, taking care of your general well-being by exercising, sleeping enough, and eating a balanced can strengthen the body against the flu.

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