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12 January 2018, 03:26 | Rex Hubbard
Couple suffering with flu symptoms stock image
In Central Florida, two deaths already can be attributed to the flu, according to Kent Donahue with the Florida Health Department.
The number of North Carolina flu deaths has more than doubled this season compared with the same period past year, according to state statistics. In the first week of January, the Mass. DPH says rates of flu-like illness have continued to rise.
While Florida is not yet among the 21 states the U.S. Center for Disease Control has reported as having a high-concern level of flu and flu-like activity, counting on that to continue would be a foolhardy way to start the new year.
According to Public Health Canada's FluWatch report, influenza activity is spiking in Canada.
The proportion of people seeing their health care provider for influenza-like illness increased from 4.9 to 5.8 percent. While it is not 100 percent effective against the flu, the vaccine still reduces the severity of the illness.
And three children in Tennessee have died of flu so far this month.
The symptoms of flu can include fever or feeling feverish/chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches and fatigue.
It feels like pretty much every year medical experts say that it's going to be an very bad season for the flu.
Annualinfluenza vaccination is recommended for everyone six months of age or older.
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Health officials also recommend people follow good personal hygiene habits to prevent spreading germs to others.
"People can spread the flu virus and be contagious before they even have symptoms", Dr. Ellen Meltzer, an internist at Weill Cornell Medicine & New York Presbyterian told PIX11 News.
The CDC said that as of December 30, 2017, the flu was widespread in 46 states.
State health officials urged people to get vaccinated against the flu, noting about 70% of those who died in this age group were not vaccinated.
So far this flu season, at least 3,927 people have been sent to the hospital with laboratory-confirmed cases of influenza. Influenza frequently leads to pneumonia that can be prevented by the pneumococcal vaccine.
Also, if your doctor prescribes an antiviral medication like Tamiflu (oseltamivir), Relenza (zanamivir) and Rapivab (peramivir), be sure to take it.
Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
Is it too late to get a flu shot?
He says that in most cases, a primary physician can take care of your basic flu symptoms but you should go to the hospital, "If you have more significant issues, a lot of respiratory issues". If coughing, wear a mask to the doctor's office, health officials said.
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FMC Chief Nursing Officer Helen Harding the high numbers are causing more people to visit the hospital's emergency department. Health officials said 36 people have died from complications of the flu in Los Angeles County during the current flu season.
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