Flu-related deaths continue to climb in California. Here's the latest toll

Health Minister John Haggie also announced plans are moving forward to replace the aging Lakeside Homes in Gander

CT public health officials say they have seen a steep increase in the number of people hospitalized with influenza over the past five weeks.

The Department for Public Health, within the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS), reports the state's first pediatric deaths for the 2017-18 flu season.

DPH commissioner Raul Pino and state epidemiologist Dr. Matthew Cartter provided an update during a Friday morning news conference.

This year, the Health Department has given 12,957 flu vaccines, and is expecting to give more as the flu season continues.

Most importantly, he says, people still need to get their flu shot.

In all, 42 people have died so far this flu season in California, health officials reported, and all were those under the age of 65. The death happened earlier this month and is one of 36 flu-related deaths in Kentucky this flu season.

CT is expected to be four-to-six weeks away from peak influenza activity, which will probably be in mid-February.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said influenza, commonly known as the flu, is a contagious respiratory illness caused by viruses. Those who develop flu symptoms should seek medical advice to determine if they should be treated with an antiviral drug, which could shorten the course of the illness or reduce its severity.

CITY -Health officials say the flu is taking its toll on Oklahomans, adding that the number of deaths associated with the virus is on the rise.

Public health officials said on Friday there had already been 42 flu-related deaths statewide among people under the age of 65 by January 6. This means that 13 of the 17 regions of the commonwealth had confirmed flu cases in the last reporting week, which ended December 30.

Last fall, when the provincial government stopped paying doctors to administer the shots as a cost-cutting measure, the group that represents physicians warned the vaccination rate would go down and cost the province more through increased hospital admissions. The peak of the flu epidemic is not expected until the second week in February.

Patients should plan for a a visit of about 30 to 45 minutes to get the shot even with the appointment, she said, because they ask for patients to remain for a period after the shot to make sure there's no adverse reaction to it before they're released.

It acknowledged that there have been shortages of antiviral medications across the country; however, it said that is not the case in CT. "We now have the vaccine on hand and want to get it out, especially in light of the current increase in flu cases". "If you're not better in 72 to 96 hours, then see someone because there is a chance of developing pneumonia and other complications".

Stay with Channel 3 for the latest.

The news conference happened at the DPH on Capitol Avenue.

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