5 flu-related deaths confirmed in Houston area

Sergio Conner
January 14, 2018

It follows news that Scotland is the worst-hit part of the United Kingdom for the current outbreak. Hawaii was the only state not experiencing widespread flu activity as of Friday. Experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that the inoculation is proving to be much more potent in this country, although at about 32 percent effectiveness, it is less efficacious than other years.

But in an update on Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said patient traffic for flu at US hospitals was no longer skyrocketing the way it was in December.

Health website, verywell.com, says the symptoms of flu are typically similar no matter what the strain of influenza, but that "history has shown that seasons in which H3N2 influenza A is the dominant strain have been more severe".

Between Dec., 31 and January, 6 Manitoba Health reports 17 deaths associated with the flu since September, 1, 2017. Officials have reported 27 flu-related deaths among Californians under age 65.

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

"If we can't support patients coming in emergency rooms who have the flu, more people are going to die", predicts Deborah Pasko, director of medication safety and quality at the American Society of Health System Pharmacists.

A Nurse Practitioner at San Angelo Community Medical Center, said, "About 50 percent of people that we are testing are testing positive for flu, but 50 percent of the people testing negative could still be positive for the flu". There have been 54 reported flu deaths in Canada, five of which were children.

Influenza is a contagious respiratory illness that usually comes on suddenly, according to the CDC. Complications, which may be serious, can include pneumonia, bronchitis, and ear and sinus infections.

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She also recommends people get the flu vaccine, which is available at any of Trinity's three walk-in vaccination sites at Trinity Health South Ridge, 1500 24th Ave.

A Scottish Government spokes-woman said: "The most common flu virus being detected is one covered by this year's vaccine".

"This is not a live vaccine, so you can never get it", he said. Additional factors like patients' ages may also affect the degree of protection a particular vaccine offers. And, we're being told, the vaccine this year is particularly ineffective.

Beside receiving the vaccine, the best ways to protect yourself and others is to wash your hands often, make sure you cough and sneeze into your arm and stay at home from school or work if you are sick.

Children's Healthcare of Atlanta said there has been an increase in flu cases in children this season. This indicates that Hong Kong has entered its winter influenza season. The CDC is calling it an epidemic.

Both hospitals were diverted last night from time to time because of the influx of patients suffering flu-like symptoms. Around 90 people died of flu in Ireland past year.

However, in the first seven days of 2018 an additional 46 cases were confirmed in that flu group, bringing the total number here to 231. A third, known as the B strain has been occurring in very low numbers, he said.

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