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How Bad Is the Flu Season in Every State?
23 January 2018, 02:14 | Rex Hubbard
A map of the country prepared by the CDC shows the flu is widespread everywhere but Hawaii
Getting an annual flu vaccine is the first and best way to protect yourself and your family members who are 6 months of age and above from the flu, especially very young children, pregnant women and people with certain health conditions who are more vulnerable to serious flu complications. "Our recent surveillance data suggests that it's increasing a little bit more".
"CDC will continue minimal support to protect the health and well-being of USA citizens here and overseas through a significantly reduced capacity to respond to outbreak investigations, processing of laboratory samples, and maintaining the agency's 24/7 emergency operations center", the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' 2018 contingency plan for Operations in the Absence of Enacted Annual Appropriations said. "Some areas of the country may have, but I think some areas are probably still going up".
The H3N2 influenza virus - 1 of 3 predominant subtypes of the Influenza A - is a leader in influenza-related cases this year.
Melissa Szarzynsai, infection control manager at Shore Medical Center, said she reminds her four children nearly hourly to wash their hands. Even when flu vaccine does not prevent illness, it still lessens the severity and shortens the duration of the flu, health officials said. Infection usually results in a relatively mild illness in many people, but can cause a more severe illness in others.
Hospitals in Chicago, such as Loyola University Medical Center, are instituting similar policies as they deal with more flu cases than they have in years.
Flu cases have skyrocketed nationwide and experts say there's still a long way to go before the season is over. These children were hospitalised during the 2010-11 to 2013-14 influenza seasons and had a respiratory specimen collected and analysed for the influenza virus. Elderly people with the flu who experience confusion or weakness likewise require medical attention.
"And it's really not like that", he said. "If anyone else comes in contact with them, then there's a chance they could catch the flu".
"The type A virus is more resistant to the vaccine", Khoukaz said. "We have seen years where there is a mixed bag of viruses and nothing took off", she said. "We've had multiple 62-year-olds who are in the ICU with pneumonia on antibiotics and even on ventilator therapy". Unlike many other vaccines that are only given a few times over the course of a person's life, flu shots must be given once a year.
Despite the shot being less effective this year, you should still get it - so if you do get the flu, it won't be as severe.
People should also continue to practice good hygiene, like washing your hands, coughing into your sleeve, disposing used tissues and staying home if you're sick.
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