Aggressive flu strain is already widespread in 36 states

Alicia Farmer
January 13, 2018

Widespread flu activity has been reported in 23 states.

Rapid City Regional Hospital does not now have any restrictions on visitors.

The flu season has already hit the USA hard, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say, with dozens of states reporting rising numbers of doctor visits for flu-like symptoms. "However, in recent past seasons in which A (H3N2) viruses predominated, hospitalizations and deaths were more common, and the effectiveness of the vaccine was lower", according to a report from the CDC.

The Alabama Department of Public Health said Friday that flu activity is picking up for the season and urged people to get vaccinated.

DHHS reported last week that more than 200 North Carolinians tested positive for the virus.

And if you're not already home fighting off the bug, it's still a good idea to get a flu shot if you haven't. Flu season is starting much earlier than usual and it's expected to be a nasty one.

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TDSHS reported a spike in cases during the first week of December and that trend has continued, though there was a slight drop in cases from Week 50 to Week 51.

¯ Try to avoid close contact with sick people.

Department of Microbiology professor Deborah Fuller, in whose laboratory this research took place, said in a statement, "With the immunized groups, we found that using this conserved component of the virus gave them 100 percent protection against a previous circulating influenza virus that didn't match the vaccine".

"Continue spreading holiday cheer and not the flu", said Jeffrey Gunzenhauser, MD, MPH, interim health officer for Los Angeles County. It will take about two weeks to get immunized so patients need to keep that in mind. Another illness seen frequently at St. Mary's is strep throat, which can have similar symptoms to the flu, he said.

People who are immunochallenged will suffer the worst, Killingsworth said.

The very young and the very old; if a child younger than 2 months has a temperature that lasts 2 days or more, isn't eating well, is fussy and can't be soothed, or has a unusual new rash, call your doctor or go to the Emergency Room immediately. Many users of the app also self-report symptoms and diagnoses. Usually, a flu fever will last from three to five days. They may also prevent serious flu complications, like pneumonia. For example, people with asthma may experience asthma attacks while they have the flu, and people with chronic congestive heart failure may experience worsening of this condition.

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