Friday, 22 June, 2018

Historic flu season hasn't reached a peak

Flu deaths continue to rise in Arkansas Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published broadcast rewritten or redistributed
Becky Salazar | 08 February, 2018, 01:00

ME saw a rise in the number of flu cases and hospitalizations last week. Of the four flu deaths in DE this season, two have been Sussex County residents and two have been New Castle County residents.

Susan Burchill, a spokeswoman with Wesley Healthcare, 550 N. Hillside, confirmed that the hospital has had two pediatric deaths from the flu.

The CDC said this year's flu season is the worst the nation has seen since the 2009 swine flu pandemic.

The most recent weekly number brings the total number of flu cases to 1,950 for the 2017-2018 season.

Wichita schools reported a spike in illnesses in their students, though it's almost impossible to tell how many students specifically caught the flu this year, spokeswoman Susan Arensman previously told The Eagle. Starting in February, flu experts have to start predicting which flu strains will be circulating by October, the start of the following flu season.

Because influenza and pneumonia frequently occur together during the flu season, both illnesses are reported on KDHE death certificates.

While flu shots have been available for months, CDC recommends that all unvaccinated individuals get the shot as quickly as possible, as flu season may not have peaked.

"The flu vaccine is made based on projections", he said. Only one state - OR - reported an easing of flu from the week before.

The number of people reporting influenza like illness to emergency rooms, doctor's offices and health departments in North Carolina has continued to increase for four consecutive weeks. "We seem to be seeing more of that maybe this year than we have in years past". And they also take the additional step of collecting swabs from some of those people so that we can know what viruses are actually going around.

People can harbor the flu virus whether they look ill or not, therefore doctors urge everyone to be vigilant.

Dr. Matt Byrd, chief of staff at PCHS, said the flu lasts about seven days and a person should stay home from work/school until they are 24 hours fever-free.

"We've already tested 98 this year for the first two weeks". While most children recover from the flu, some can have severe and sometimes fatal infections, but that has been rare in Nebraska. Even though it's only 10%-30% effective, Medical Director of Infectious Control for Vidant Medical Center in Greenville Dr. Keith Ramsey says it can lessen the severity of symptoms.

Flu often leaves sufferers feeling sick and riddled with a constant cough and runny nose.

Flu-ed up: What are flu symptoms and how do you beat the bug?

DPH has been contacted by schools concerned about large numbers of student absences due to widespread flu activity.

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