ibusinesslines.com September 24, 2018

Has a 'severe' flu season reached its peak in Idaho? Maybe not

14 January 2018, 01:53 | Erica Roy

The number of flu deaths in any year is between 80 and 120 people

The number of flu deaths in any year is between 80 and 120 people

The flu season, which runs from October to May, started early and has so far been severe, according to the federal CDC.

"It's January, so we're getting flu cases", Cornish said.

She also recommends people get the flu vaccine, which is available at any of Trinity's three walk-in vaccination sites at Trinity Health South Ridge, 1500 24th Ave.

Influenza is a contagious respiratory illness that usually comes on suddenly, according to the CDC. "They've found through research that in the winter months there are congregations of people and that provides an excellent mode of transmission". The El Paso Health Department reports there are 1,163 confirmed cases reported so far this flu season, as compared to 252 cases this time previous year. In the first week of 2018 alone, 425 new cases were reported from 38 counties.

Canada-wide, there have been 54 flu-related deaths so far this winter.

This season, the predominant flu strain is H3N2, a form of influenza A. This flu strain is associated with more severe illness, especially among children and the elderly.

"It's earlier than normal, so there's the worry now that is this going to grumble on compared to a year ago - mid February, late February", he said. Over the holidays, kids are home from school spending time with their families and friends.

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

"We have had some of those detected, but not all tests are sub-typed out", Allen said. More than half of those patients have been diagnosed with influenza, Central Health said Friday. It can be spread through coughing, sneezing or contact with an infected person. Practice good hand hygiene - wash your hands with soap and water or a hand-sanitizing product liberally - before and after eating, going to the bathroom, spending time in high-traffic settings such as the mall or airport.

The H3N2 strain is more unsafe to patients over 65, under 2 and to those of any age deemed high-risk due to other health issues, such as chronic diseases.

Pharmacies across the United Kingdom are running out of the flu vaccine, as fears of a national epidemic continue to grow.

Stacey Anderson of the DPHHS Communicable Disease Epidemiology section agrees. According to the CDC, this year's flu shot included an influenza A H1N1, an influenza A H3N2, and an influenza B/Victoria lineage virus.

Even if the shot does not prevent you from getting the flu, experts say it can lessen the severity and shorten the duration.

Most of the cases are in the Princess of Wales Hospital in Bridgend, but there are also cases in both Morriston and Singleton hospital in Swansea.

The number of Northern Ireland people diagnosed with the flu group that includes the so-called "Aussie Flu" strain has increased to 231, the Public Health Agency (PHA) has confirmed. The next step is to go home and stay there. "That's why we had a lot sicker people", he said.

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