Flu remains widespread as vaccinations are becoming harder to find

Flu remains widespread as vaccinations are becoming harder to find

The proportion of outpatient hospital visits for flu-like symptoms was 6.6 percent, which is higher than national baseline of 2.2 percent.

The number of flu-related deaths in the state rose to 122 as of Monday morning, making the current flu season the deadliest since the state began closely tracking flu-linked deaths in 2000.

"Anyone wanting a free flu shot can come to the Talbot County Health Department without an appointment", Wadley said.

It is not too late to get vaccinated for influenza.

"When flu season started, I conducted several trainings during faculty meetings regarding flu prevention". She retired a year ago and didn't get a flu shot figuring she was no longer around sick children.

There have been 195 lab-confirmed cases of influenza through February 2.

Seasonal flu shots contain three to four strains of flu virus, because there isn't much "cross protection" between strains, Schaffner said.

One pediatric death has been reported in Mississippi.

Influenza can cause mild to severe illness and sometimes require hospitalization.

More common, nonemergency symptoms of the flu can include fever and chills, cough, sore throat, runny nose, headache or body ache, fatigue, vomiting or diarrhea, according to ACEP. "But again, also people coughing and sneezing and not covering their cough", said Dr. Hawkinson. People infected with influenza may have respiratory symptoms without a fever.

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In January, more than 12 percent of all doctor's visits in Kansas - and almost 15 percent in the Wichita area - were made because of the flu.

Dreifuss, 61, worked in a pediatrician's office for years and didn't catch the flu.

Emergency rooms are filled with people experiencing flu-like symptoms.

"Teach them to wash hands before touching their nose and eyes", she said.

■ Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

"If they're sick or not doing well then keep them home, don't push it", said Wallerius". This will help prevent spreading your illness to others.

What should I do if I get sick? "Lastly, take appropriate measures to protect yourself such as washing your hands with soap and water".

In Pensacola, Florida, an ER nurse's Facebook rant after a 12-hour shift got attention this week, with her venting about people not doing enough to stop the spread of germs. However, some people (including young children, people 65 and older, pregnant women, and people with certain medical conditions) are at a higher risk of serious flu-related complications. "The biggest mistake we make is not keeping them home until they're better".

Schuchat said if you haven't gotten the flu, you should be on guard.

The Johnson County Health Department said 10 schools have reported greater than 10 percent absenteeism due to influenza-like illness in the last week.

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