Published: Mon, January 08, 2018
Business | By Tara Barton

Heading Into Peak Season, Flu-Related Deaths Reach 20 In North Carolina

Heading Into Peak Season, Flu-Related Deaths Reach 20 In North Carolina

The most recent statistics that include adults were from the week that ended December 16, when 6.7% of deaths reported to the National Center for Health Statistics were attributed to influenza and pneumonia. Of that total, about 11 percent of those sick from the flu ended up in a hospital.

"Patients experiencing flu symptoms should see a health provider, including primary care or urgent care, as soon as possible, because there is a prescription medicine that can reduce the duration and symptoms". Four were older than 65, and one patient was between 50 and 60 years old.

The Arizona Department of Health Services said in a release Friday that influenza activity is at a high and several hospitals are reporting a spike in sick patients.

The "Aussie flu" strain is similar to the H3N2 strain that dominated last year's flu season in Ireland and Europe, the HSE said.

"We're not telling them not to come to the hospital, we just want them to be careful along with loved ones in the community", says Dr. Pratap Balusu, Chief Medical Officer at Lima Memorial.

Balusu says the best defense people can have against the flu is taking care of their bodies.

Steel yourself for a strong cough/cold and flu season.

"The message of how to prevent the flu never changes", Corson said. "Whereas not getting vaccinated provides no protection".

You may have heard that the flu that's doing the most damage this year is an H3N2 strain, and that it is less vulnerable to the vaccine. Researchers say it's the result of a mutation in the strain as the vaccine was being developed, making it anywhere from 15 to 30 percent effective against the strain.

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We have some bad news if you're one of the people who opted for a flu shot this year: It might not actually keep you from getting the flu.

There were 203 positive flu tests last week from private labs: 159 influenza A, and 43 influenza B; 1 was unsubtypeable. The hospital conducted 2,500 swabs during the peak of flu season in 2017, but nearly 5,000 last week. That's 66 cases more than what was reported in 2016.

"Each year, we report all our flu data to the Washoe County Health District", said Jamii Uboldi, spokeswoman for Saint Mary's Medical Group.

"That's a huge jump", she said.

Public health officials have seen a surge of flu cases in long-term care facilities, which is of particular concern, according to Dr. David Chang, San Mateo County Health System's interim communicable disease controller. But last weekend, hospital staff treated about 230 patients.

Nick Phin of Public Health England said: "Flu activity, as measured by a number of different systems, has continued to increase in the last week or two".

"The Tucson Medical Center emergency department is now experiencing a 10 percent increase in patient volume over the previous year", said hospital spokesman Jim Marten, when asked about how flu cases were affecting the hospital.

The NHS crisis deepened yesterday as health chiefs warned that people who had been vaccinated could still get the flu because the jab had targeted the wrong strain.

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