Emergency Room visits for flu highest among babies and toddlers in Virginia

Posted December 17, 2017

That is good news, because H3N2 is included in this year's flu vaccine.

It's still early in the flu season, but three U.S. states, Louisiana, Mississippi and SC, are experiencing high "Influenza-Like Illness" activity.

Howard Zucker says everyone over 6 months old is encouraged to get a flu shot as soon as possible.

Flu season is at its peak from December to February and the New Jersey Department of Health wants you to be proactive about getting your vaccine before flu activity increases.

Global death rates from seasonal influenza are likely between 291,000 and 646,000 people each year, depending on the severity of the circulating flu strain, they said. Vaccination is especially important for those persons at high risk from flu complications including people 50 years of age and older, young children, persons with chronic lung disease (such as asthma and COPD), diabetes (type 1 and 2), heart disease, neurologic conditions, other long-term health conditions, and pregnant women.

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Tina Cass, infection control practitioner for Fairfield Medical Center, said the center has seen six flu-related hospitalizations since October this year.

But Doctors say the shot does make symptoms less severe, if you do get influenza.

Abilene pharmacist James McCoy said he hasn't seen a large number of people coming in with flu so far, but he similarly advocated shots for those who haven't had them. Current vaccines are said to provide better immunization against influenza B and influenza A (H1N1) viruses and offer lower protection against influenza A (H3N2) viruses. The most common symptoms of flu include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, and muscle or body aches.

For additional information about influenza, including how it is monitored in New York State, visit the Department of Health web page. "The flu shot combined with proper handwashing are the two most effective things you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones". Despite the World Health Organization's recommendation to vaccinate people in high-risk populations, few developing countries have seasonal flu vaccination programs or the capacity to produce and distribute seasonal or pandemic vaccines.

Cases of flu and related illnesses have been reported as widespread in MA based on geographical cases in recent weeks.