Flu related deaths so far this season in North Carolina

Influenza Making Inroads in Greenwich: Not too Late for Vaccine; Tamiflu Shortages

Influenza Making Inroads in Greenwich: Not too Late for Vaccine; Tamiflu Shortages

"I couldn't get out of bed".

As different strains are prevalent in different flu seasons, the production of the vaccine is not an exact science. The flu season is off to a record-breaking start, with the CDC reporting widespread flu activity from coast to coast.

Traffic from people with flu-like symptoms also swelled during the week ending January 6 at Memorial Hospital in South Bend, where there were 104 confirmed flu cases and the average rate of flu-related emergency room visits was 3.6 percent.

The county, like the rest of California, has been hit hard.

"While most Americans were traveling and visiting family between December 24 and December 30, 2017, data from athenaInsight's 2017 - 2018 Flu Dashboard showed that 4.34 percent of more than 1 million outpatient visits across the country were coded for influenza-like illness (ILI)", according to athenahealth analytics arm athenaInsight.

So how can you make sure you survive the season?

Jennifer Green, Riley County Health Department director, said the number of people with flu-like symptoms has increased from previous year, but it doesn't necessarily reflect how many people might be getting the flu locally, since some people go to their primary care doctor for treatment.

Representatives from both hospitals said it is not too late to get a flu shot. "We're really in historic territory, and I just don't know when it's going to stop".

Jolliff said "some deaths" at Memorial have been attributed to the flu this season, but she isn't authorized to disclose the number.

"It's more virulent than the typical virus a year ago", King said. Australia's experience suggests effectiveness was only about 10 percent. It may prevent those around you from getting sick.

Those who feel symptoms coming on should begin drinking more liquids to keep the respiratory system hydrated and make mucus less viscous. Currently, those who receive a flu shot have the option to defend against the three most common strains or to get a shot that also includes defense against a fourth flu strain.

Hidalgo County and its Texas Vaccination for Children partners already have given out more than 60,000 vaccines, not including private pharmacies and clinics. Check the Vaccine Finder website (vaccinefinder.org) for a location near you. People who are not extremely sick are encouraged to see their personal physician or visit urgent care. And cover your mouth and nose when you cough and sneeze.

So why is this current flu season so deadly-and what can you still to do to protect yourself while you wait it out?

"If you have a fever, don't come to work until it's been gone for 24 hours", said Robinson.

Because elderly people are so vulnerable to the flu, some nursing homes and assisted living facilities may limit visitors and resident activities, depending on the level of illness.

Though the most severe period might be over, the flu season has a way to go.

"Flu is the big topic of the day", a doctor said as he made rounds to patients.

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