Increasing H1N1, flu trends across Idaho

Henrietta Strickland
January 9, 2019

The Canadian health agency reports 43% of the cases in Ontario so far this season are children, compared to about 20% past year.

Authorities say flu activity across New Jersey is high, so it's important for those who have not yet done so to get a flu shot.

Nationwide, there are more than 6,400 confirmed cases of influenza as of December 29; New Jersey reports 408 cases as of December 29.

To prevent more children from contracting the flu, a hospital in Wisconsin is temporarily restricting children under the age of 12 from visiting.

Although flu cases are climbing, the numbers are still well behind those reported at this time a year ago, when the nation was in the midst of one of its most severe flu seasons on record.

Peak flu season is starting now, and doctors say to get ready for a potentially extended season.

The high prevalence of A (H1N1) pdm09 strain-currently 81.4% of all positive specimen tests-is a deviation from last year's flu season, when the H3N2 mutation strain was prevalent in about 90% of all flu cases reported through mid-January 2018. Data suggests that more people got vaccinated earlier this year than they did last year, perhaps motivated by memories of the prior season.

Cadieux noted that flu season peaked early this year in Alberta, but has yet to peak in Ottawa.

While H1N1-predominant seasons tend to be milder overall at the population level compared to those characterized primarily by H3N2, individuals who get hit with either strain won't detect much of a difference - both bring on fever, cough, general malaise and achy muscles and joints, she said from Vancouver.

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. For people without healthcare coverage, regular flu vaccine is $25 and high dose flu vaccine is $65. "The start of the flu season is unpredictable, and the vaccine takes two weeks to become fully effective".

Vaccines are available at doctors' offices, and many pharmacies provide free and low-priced flu vaccinations to the public.

Doctors say it could get worse.

Sinus and ear infections are examples of moderate complications of flu, but a frequent serious complication, particularly in people with chronic lung disease, is pneumonia.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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