CDC: 4 dead, more than 300 hospitalized in Georgia as flu spreads

Henrietta Brewer
January 14, 2018

Symptoms of the flu include fever that last three or four days, severe muscle or body aches, chills, severe chest discomfort and cough, headaches and fatigue.

"What we can see is a very rapid increase in the numbers of people coming in to see their healthcare providers", Dr Jernigan said.

This is really record-breaking.

John-haggie-midwives
Health Minister John Haggie says Newfoundland and Labrador has had 16 lab-confirmed cases of the flu so far this season

A sign telling customers that they can get a flu shot in a Walgreen store in Indianapolis in 2014. All deaths reported this year were people over the age of 65. Flu vaccine can vary in how well it works, but remains the best way to prevent illness and flu complications, including those that can lead to hospitalization.

Between Dec., 31 and January, 6 Manitoba Health reports 17 deaths associated with the flu since September, 1, 2017. Their experts called the latest flu trends in the state "alarming".

"The influenza vaccination is the best way to protect your family from complications of influenza", said Dr. Matt Willis, Marin County's Health Officer.


"It can lessen [flu] severity and likelihood that you will be hospitalized", she said.

Although he noted the anecdotal reports of healthy young people who have died from the flu, the individuals most at risk remain the elderly and young children. H3N2 also mutates quickly, so the "reference strain" included in the flu shot may differ slightly from the H3N2 strain that shows up during flu season, lowering the vaccine's effectiveness.

The weekly flu report shows a continued increase in flu activity across Minnesota.


Twenty children have died of the flu so far, the CDC says.

"Flu is widespread and elevated in LA County", said Dr. Sharon Balter, director of Acute Communicable Disease Control. Adults over the age of 65 were most likely to be hospitalized, at a rate of 98.0 per 100,000 population, almost doubling last week's rate of 56.6. If you're feeling sick, don't assume it's too late to get treatment with an anti-viral drug like Tamiflu.

The main strains circulating continue to be flu A (H3N2), known as Aussie flu, A (H1N1), known as swine flu, and flu B. And the vaccine may end up being more effective, especially if other strains of the flu become more common.


"We're seeing a sharp spike with all the kids that were out of school for the holidays, now they're back in school", said Jones. "They can also take a number of proactive steps to lower the chances they and others will be infected with the flu, such as washing hands frequently, covering their cough and not touching their eyes, nose and mouth".

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