Sunday, 16 December, 2018

Health officials warn of rise in influenza, urge vaccinations

A Fluzone influenza vaccine is shown at Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy in San Francisco Tuesday Jan. 9 2018. Flu-related deaths in California are higher than usual so far this season and most victims were not vaccinated state health officials said Tues Health officials warn of rise in influenza, urge vaccinations
Becky Salazar | 06 February, 2018, 15:14

"However, there is a 10 per cent increase in the number of people visiting the (Emergency Department) for respiratory illness", the health unit said. So far health officials have documented 37 flu-related deaths in our state.

Brenda Fitzgerald resigned as head of the CDC Wednesday, a day after Politico reported Fitzgerald's purchase of tobacco stock after she took the position at the nation's top public health agency. He also claims this condition, in its common state, is not as unsafe as current influenza. The hospitalization peaked at 7.8 percent during the 2009 H1N1 pandemic and 7.6 percent during the 2003-04 flu season. But the epidemic is accelerating.

"Louisiana is experiencing a severe flu season and the strain of the flu we are seeing now is one that typically causes more severe illness, and results in higher hospitalization rates and death", Dr. Influenza B however nearly exclusively infects humans. Another hospital in the Atlanta area this week set up a mobile ER outside to handle flu cases.

A yearly flu vaccine is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Residents may also wish to contact their local health care provider or pharmacy about getting a flu shot. Laboratory confirmed cases represent only a fraction of actual cases, because most people are not admitted to the hospital with the flu.

Some researchers say part of the problem may be that most flu vaccine is made by growing viruses in chicken eggs; the viruses can mutate in the eggs, making the vaccine less effective in people.

The CDC is battling a particularly awful flu season, driven in large part by a H3N2 strain that's been resistant to this year's vaccine. "Despite vaccination being a third as effective compared to prior years, and taking two weeks before it is effective, the CDPH website states it is ". Usually, the more severe influenza A strain peaks in December and January and influenza B, which is often less severe, peaks in the spring.

She said there is an anticipated low vaccine effectiveness of 17 per cent against the A strain and a moderate effectiveness of 55 per cent against Influenza B, "which is circulating at high levels in Canada this season".

One of every 14 visits to doctors and clinics were for fever, cough and other symptoms of the flu.

Do not mistake the seasonal flu with adenovirusesA strain of the flu virus.

If you get sick with a flu-like illness, stay home for at least 24 hours after the fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities.

Indeed, in a recent viral video, a Florida nurse warned people not to go to the ER if they are healthy or don't have emergency symptoms, because of the risk of catching the flu.

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