Published: Sun, January 14, 2018
Health | By Jay Jacobs

4 flu-related deaths in the state, including 1 in Middle Georgia

4 flu-related deaths in the state, including 1 in Middle Georgia

The CDC reported seven more children have died from flu, bringing the season total to 20 so far. TDH recommends that people who are not severely ill call their health care provider first to talk about whether they need to be seen, and if so, where would be most appropriate place to go. H3N2-dominant flu seasons are associated with more severe illness, especially among children and older adults.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), flu activity is now widespread in most of the United States. Symptoms may vary from person to person.

"Vaccination is our main tool to prevent influenza infection, and CDC recommends that vaccination efforts continue as long as influenza viruses are circulating". It is not too late to benefit from a flu shot this season. "As of this last month, manufacturers reported they shipped more than 151 million doses of flu vaccine, so it should be readily available".

"The season started early and it is probably peaking right now", according to Dan Jernigan, the director of the CDC's influenza division. It also reported that 1,200 people had tested positive for the flu, a number that experts say is likely much higher. "It's looking a lot like the activity from 2014/2015 and 2012/2013".

Morgan attributed the epidemic in part to the strain of the flu this season.

"At this point in time we have seen a really dramatic increases in cases", Hacker told the Tribune-Review. So if it's the predominant strain, that season can still be severe even if people have some background exposure or immunity, Fauci says. "Both of those were H3N2 predominant years".

Kendall says if you're visiting loved ones in care homes this time of year, make sure to wash your hands, and delay your visit if you're sick.

"We try to isolate patients as soon as we feel like they have the possibility of having the flu because we have to protect the patients that are here that are otherwise healthy and may not have been exposed", says Taylor. "We are seeing very large numbers, and that's particularly been true for the last two to three weeks". In addition, there are also other strains of influenza that are still to be a major cause of disease.

Most flu shots cover four flu viruses - two influenza A viruses - H3N2 and H1N1 - and two B viruses.

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