Flu season ramps up in New Jersey heading into the new year

Posted December 30, 2017

"Across SLO County, we're seeing more confirmed cases of the flu than usual, and more people are visiting the emergency room because of the flu", according to a county statement.

In Los Angeles County, there have been 19 influenza-associated deaths reported for the 2017-2018 flu season.

The Department of Health is officially categorizing the flu as geographically widespread. According to the department's website, past year Lexington had 503 confirmed cases of flu, and seven flu-related deaths.

Provincially, she said, there has been an increase in flu activity and in reported outbreaks in institutions such as long-term care homes. A rapidly developing flu season leaves experts predicting that the coming months will be tough for anyone in the line of fire.

Take everyday preventive actions like covering coughs and sneezes, avoid touching your eyes or mouth, staying away from sick people and washing your hands often to help stop the spread of respiratory viruses including flu. People sick with the flu should stay home from work or school and look into antiviral medications offered at doctors' offices.

A flu vaccine, available at pharmacies and in good supply in the United States, may not offer adequate protection against Type A, subtype H3N2, the influenza virus strain now circulating in the country, the San Francisco Chronicle reported on Thursday.

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The CDC has recommended three main antivirals: oseltamivir (sold under the brand name Tamiful, ) zanamivir (Relenza), and peramivir, all of which the CDC says contain a strain of H3N2 which should be effective against this year's version.

"This increased rate of flu activity is concerning because influenza can be a serious disease for anyone, including children, pregnant women, and previously healthy young adults", said Dr. Burnestine Taylor, ADPH's Medical Officer for Disease Control and Prevention.

'There is not much we can do on a state level, ' said Anton, 'it's an every-year epidemic'.

Until further notice, people suffering from flu-like symptoms, including high fever plus cough and/or sore throat, are asked not to visit patients until they have recovered from their symptoms, states an SSM news release.

Overall vaccine effectiveness against all circulating flu viruses last season was 39 percent, according to the CDC.