The local flu watch activity level is set at Level 3, localized with at least one ongoing laboratory-confirmed influenza outbreak in an institution. A high number of people have been infected across the country, and last week the number of people seeking care for flu-like symptoms has spiked. This is true both for seasonal flu and novel flu virus infections.
She explained, "Many people think at this point of the season it isn't worth it anymore but we will see influenza for a number of weeks longer".
Caused by viruses, flu is a contagious respiratory illness with mild to severe symptoms that can sometimes lead to death. Recommendations on the site include seeking medical attention if the fever persists for more than two to three days, if symptoms persist for more than 10 days, if breathing is hard and if swallowing fluids is hard. These drugs work best when started within two days of symptoms first appearing. In California, hospitalization rates are four times higher than they were in 2014-15, double in OR and Minnesota.
He says there is also no way to prove the shot caused a death.
Dr. Jennifer Russell, acting chief medical officer of health, said it's not unusual for the efficacy of the flu vaccine to vary year to year.
There are some indications flu epidemic is peaking in the West.
"We aren't out of the woods yet, but there are steps everyone can take to fight the flu", Shuchat said. The flu continues to increase in the East and unchanged in the South. The CDC recommends the flu vaccine for everyone ages 6 months and older.
The flu is a virus, and there are three different strains circulating this year. And again, research is underway into the effectiveness of this year's particular vaccine formula. An early report from Canada for the same flu shot shows protection against that bug has been poor, just 17 percent. Nevertheless, the vaccine does offer some protection. So far health officials have documented 37 flu-related deaths in our state.
For the past five flu seasons, health officials found that flu activity was elevated for around 16 weeks.
Alicia Cleveland DO, who treats patients at Lakeland Medical said 66 patients tested positive for the flu from January 24 through 31. Not included in that figure is Aaron Masterson, a 12-year-old Huntsville Middle School student who passed away from the flu Sunday. This puts the staff and other patients at risk. And the risk is not going away. Remind them about your high risk status for flu. "I've been in infectious disease for the last 15 years and this is as bad as it can get", Ahmad added. More than 2,800 vaccines were administered last Wednesday across the state, according to DHH.