The Flu Season Keeps Getting Worse

The Flu Season Keeps Getting Worse

The flu is bad this year.

People who have not had a flu shot can still get one by contacting their health care provider, local pharmacy or county public health office. And for your kid, too. "We urge parents to protect themselves and their families by getting this potentially life-saving vaccine today".

The Cuyahoga County Board of Health is still encouraging people to get vaccinated.

"What we do tend to believe is that whether the flu shot actually stops you from getting the flu, it definitely seems to have a moderating effect on the severity of influenza", said Mullins.

In Suffolk, there have been over 3,700 cases of the flu this season, with 782 new cases reported last week. "The virus is often transmitted at colder temperatures in low humidity", she explains.

What about for children and babies?

Well, doctors say it's more of a complex answer.

Here in Riverside County, deaths have almost doubled, bringing the deaths of people under the age of 64 who've died of flu related illness to 20. 63 children have died from the flu this year as of press time and hospitalization rates continue to rise, rivaling those of the 2014-2015 season, which saw 148 pediatric deaths and was one of the most severe in recent years.

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Are you anxious about the flu? But what does that really mean?

Benard and the CDC recommend that, if you are sick with a flu-like illness, you should stay home for at least 24 hours.

According to Budd, the CDC works with public health partners to track influenza-like illnesses (ILI) nationally, using a surveillance system that leverages eight different sources of data, including information from physicians' reports about patients with ILI who are seeking medical attention. So far, 66 people in the state of Georgia have died during the flu outbreak this season and about three-quarters of those deaths are patients 65 and older.

How can someone who got the flu shot still get the flu?

"The match this year between what's in the vaccine and what's circulating is pretty good on paper, but sometimes in the manufacturing process, there's changes that occur even in to the strain that is made in the vaccine and that can cause a difference", he said.

"Whether [the vaccine for the southern hemisphere] provides better protection would depend on which virus strain would dominate", he explained. "The body recognizes [these] proteins as non-self and produces white blood cells to attack the flu virus".

Federal officials have received reports of spot shortages of antivirals, but they say those drugs are available.