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Flu has killed 20 children already this season

13 January 2018
Flu has killed 20 children already this season

Flu cases spiked the most in the South with the number expected to rise as we head into the peak of flu season.

According to Mosaic, the second issue is that the flu vaccine is perceived to not be as effective this year as it normally would be.

"We have a lot of illnesses that are flu-like that come with the pain, fever and the cough", Dr. Derrick Anderson said.

The acting state health officer, Scott Harris, said hospitals in almost one-third of Alabama's counties are at 90 percent of their patient capacity, and some are full.

Department medical director, doctor Patricia Quinlisk says getting the flu vaccine is still the best way to combat the flu.

Nine influenza-associated deaths have been reported in Missouri from October to December 2017.

Where the real problems begin is the mixing of both the Influenza A strain H3N2 and Influenza B. While the B strain is covered by flu vaccines, they aren't so effective against the H3N2 strain. People who are at high-risk for flu complications, such as young children, pregnant woman and elderly people, may need a prescription antiviral drug, such as Tamiflu or Relenza, the news release said.

Williamson and Hays counties each have reported more than 700 flu cases but no flu deaths.

"Influenza vaccine is still available and people can still get immunized".

So far 43 schools and 55 long-term care facilities in the state have reported outbreaks, though epidemiologists note those numbers only reflect the cases that were bad enough to force a clinic or hospital visit-meaning thousands more cases are likely going uncounted. In just the past week, hospitalizations have nearly doubled, going from 13.7 per 100,000 to 22.7 per 100,000.

The CDC cautioned Friday that we could still have three months left in flu season. You may also see these symptoms with a cold, but doctors said they are more flu related. It has reached epidemic levels, which it does every year, Jernigan said.

If you have not received a flu shot yet, it's not too late.

It's also important to take other actions to stay healthy such as covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze, clean your hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer or keep your germs contained by staying home when sick.