Still time to get flu shots: Sherlock

Henrietta Strickland
January 10, 2019

The New Jersey Department of Health is confirming the state's first pediatric flu death of the season.

During the same timeframe, there were only two reported deaths from influenza past year.

Public Health won't consider the flu season to be active until that threshold has been crossed for two straight weeks. Data suggests that more people got vaccinated earlier this year than they did last year, perhaps motivated by memories of the prior season.

"We are seeing numbers rise in our region", said Dr. Irfan Hafiz, an infectious disease specialist who serves as chief medical officer of the northwest region of Northwestern Medicine.

It is expected to peak in about 8-12 weeks.

"We knew this virus affects more children, pregnant women, and not the seniors particularly".

So far in North Carolina, there have been 10 flu-related deaths this flu season.

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 Sarah Fentem | St. Louis Public Radio
View Slideshow Sarah Fentem | St. Louis Public Radio

Visitors are encouraged to check a health care facility's website or call in advance about its restrictions and any exceptions.

The Marion County Public Health Department offers low-priced flu vaccine at its district health offices.

Shahab said immunization rates for kids should be higher.

The doctor said only 35 per cent of children aged six months to 23 months have been immunized.

Last year, the vaccine was about 40 percent effective, the U.S. CDC said, while it was 48 percent effective in 2016-17 and 59 percent effective in 2015-16.

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. However, the flu virus can be particularly unsafe for young children, seniors, pregnant women and people with compromised immune systems.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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