Flu Season is Getting Worse

Here's why flu season is so bad this year — and how you can protect yourself from catching it

In its latest Flu Activity and Surveillance Report from January 6 to 13, CDC noted that influenza activity again increased, and the states experiencing high flu activity increased from 26 to 32, now including NY and Puerto Rico.

While she said there aren't official numbers on how many residents of Chatham or other coastal Georgia counties had contracted the flu so far this season, Sally Silbermann, spokeswoman for the Coastal Health District, said the virus is already widespread in the state and nation.

How is New Jersey faring against the rest of the country in influenza cases?

South Carolina's state legislature has been hit hard by the flu, with numerous lawmakers contracting different strains of the virus after gathering earlier this month for the second year of the body's 122nd regular session.

The state Department of Public Health reported last week that more than 300 Georgians have been hospitalized by the flu so far this season. And pediatric deaths are on the rise.

What strains are prevalent this year?

Someday, we hope to have a universal flu vaccine available, one that prevents infection from all influenza viruses and provides protection that lasts for years.

Flu vaccines also tend to be less effective against H3N2 than other flu viruses.

Hospitalization rates for flu this season are, as usual, highest among people over age 65, CDC reports.

CDC Director Brenda Fitzgerald told the newspaper that the flu shot is still the best way to protect yourself from getting sick. Data from this week indicates that 6.3% of reported patient visits were due to influenza-like illness (up from 5.8% a week ago). Many influenza A strains originate in other animals, mutate and infect humans. "The cases are more severe this year than they have been". Health officials have said that the current vaccine should be about 30% effective against it.

Everyone six months and older should receive a yearly flu vaccine. Vaccine producers are proposing changing the methodology of production from chicken eggs to cell cultures, which would shorten the production process.

Researchers baed the findings on samples that they collected from a total of 178 patients who had gotten the flu.

"I'm really concerned about how many people are opting not to vaccinate". You can not get the flu from the flu shot, but immunity usually takes about two weeks to develop. While our flu vaccines are far from flawless, they are the best way to prevent getting sick from flu - and it's not too late to get one.

As much as possible, avoid people who are sick.

What complications can accompany the flu?

Symptoms include high fever, cough, headache/ muscle aches, tiredness, sore throat and congestion. The last two are more common in children than adults. You might have a slight fever, but it is often not too severe. However, when sick and in doubt, it is always reasonable to call and seek medical attention.

In Livingston County, the number of lab-confirmed flu cases have about doubled in the past week to more than 70 lab-confirmed cases of the flu since October 1, 2017. It is also important for family members and people who have regular contact with high-risk individuals to be vaccinated. Fortunately, with vaccination, many people can be spared the misery associated with this disease, and vaccination is recommended for all ages. Then again, Dr. Brahim Ardolic, chairman of emergency medicine at Staten Island University Hospital in New York City says, "This is one of those flu seasons they're gonna be comparing other flu seasons to". You may notice these symptoms for a few days or up to a week.

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