Health officials report 8 flu deaths this season

How Does This Flu Season Compare to Others?
            
             
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How Does This Flu Season Compare to Others? tweet

Roth said unfortunately, this is a bad flu season.

Roth said individuals should practice good hand washing because the flu spreads through droplet transmission through saliva, mucus and not washing hands.

The 52 flu deaths were recorded between August 27 and January 27 and the DPH said flu activity remains high and widespread, "with an increasing number of patients presenting flu symptoms, as well as increasing numbers of flu-associated hospitalizations and deaths".

Public Health officials encourage El Paso residents to be vaccinated and urge medical providers to test for the flu and to prescribe antivirals when possible.

In Liberty County, a school reported 14 students and one teacher with flu like symptoms.

As of Monday, there have been 185 total influenza cases in the region. "Our county health department clinics are providing flu vaccines at no charge to patients until vaccine supplies are depleted".

According to the governor's office, there has been a 50 percent increase in confirmed flu cases and a 21 percent increase in hospitalizations since last week.

At least four of those deaths were children.

The flu season runs from October through May.

"The evidence is mounting, from Australia and now from Canada, that the vaccine protection is low [this year]", said lead study author Danuta Skowronski, an influenza epidemiologist at the British Columbia Center for Disease Control.

This year's vaccines the CDC predicted incorrectly.

"The flu shot can give you basic immunity, so it helps prevent more severe outcomes", she said. Other people who face a high risk of getting the flu are pregnant women, older adults and those with chronic medical conditions.

The number of flu-related deaths in Alberta has almost surpassed the total number of deaths recorded in the previous influenza season - and there's still a few months left to go.

New York Senator Chuck Schumer called on the federal government to send a special CDC flu surveillance team to New York to bolster "inundated hospitals and budget-strained localities across the state".

"The vaccines either contain inactivated virus, meaning the viruses are no longer infectious, or a particle created to look like a flu virus to your immune system", he explained. So it's still worth getting a flu shot - even though it's February and even though it takes a few weeks for your body to fully respond to the jab.

"Hand hygiene can not be stressed enough", Ms. McArdle said.

Wash hands often with soap and water.

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