February 21, 2018

Yep, this flu season continues to be bad

10 February 2018, 06:44 | Kara Nash

A man sneezing

A man sneezing

The flu season has been more severe than usual because it involves H3N2, a strain of the influenza A virus that causes more health complications and is more hard to prevent, health experts say.

"This is a severe flu season, and unfortunately there are no signs that it has peaked yet", said State Health Commissioner Kris Box, MD, FACOG.

CDC officials urge everyone to get a flu shot and take other precautions such as washing hands.

This year's flu season is as bad as the 2009 swine flu pandemic that killed about 200,000 people worldwide, the CDC revealed today.

Health officials have reported more than 19,000 flu cases in New York City in the week ending on February 3, up by more than 4,000 from the previous week. The CDC recommends that everyone 6 months of age and older get the flu shot, as it helps reduce the chance of illness and can also lessen the severity of the symptoms if you do get sick. Experts say these drugs are still available experts are hoping to reach a plateau, but fear this flu season may be even worse than anticipated. In some parts of the state, hospitals set up triage tents outside emergency rooms just for patients with flu symptoms.

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Public Health has clinic hours in Guelph on Friday from 1 to 7 p.m. and on Saturday from 10 2 p.m. Influenza B strains and influenza A H1N1 are still increasing, though.

One child between the ages of 0 and 4 has died, and five people between the ages of 5 and 24 have died.

In previous severe flu seasons - not counting pandemics caused by newly mutated viruses - the CDC estimates that up to 56,000 people have died in a single year. The agency does not keep an exact count of adult flu deaths, but closely tracks child deaths. The Department is aware of some localized shortages of specific formulations of influenza antivirals, particularly the oseltamivir oral suspension and generic oseltamivir capsules. The vaccine portion targeting the type B virus offers 55 per cent protection. Sick people should cover their mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. But it can prevent deadly secondary infections of additional strains that pile on when an already weakened patient is attacked by a flu they normally would be able to fend off.

Dr. Carol Smith, Commissioner of Health and Mental Health, Ulster County Department of Health and President, NYSACHO said, "NYSACHO fully supports the Governor's and New York State DOH's initiative to increase the numbers of our citizens who are vaccinated against the flu".

Schuchat offered a warning to anyone who gets the flu, then feels better, then suddenly starts to feel much worse.

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