Pediatricians, parents concerned as flu cases continue to climb

Alicia Farmer
February 1, 2018

In North Somerset there were 95.3 GP recorded cases of flu for every 100,000 people in the week ending 14th January, indicating a high level of flu.

In addition to getting the flu shot, the health unit also advises residents to wash hands thoroughly and often, cough or sneeze into sleeves, keep surfaces and items disinfected, and stay home if you are feeling sick.

Health officials are urging Londoners to take precautions as a particularly harsh flu season continues, claiming five lives in just one week.

However, the flu is not a death sentence. The peak of flu season is usually in February, but officials said the number of flu cases is already reaching numbers close to last year's peak. These excess deaths can not with certainty be attributed to specific causes but flu and the very cold weather some areas have seen since Christmas are likely to be contributing factors.

In the United States, flu activity has increased significantly over recent weeks with influenza A (H3N2) viruses predominating. In the 2014-2015 flu season, 710,000 people were hospitalized, and the director of the CDC's influenza division told The New York Times that he expects a similar number for this season.

If you received a flu shot this season and still ended up sick with the influenza virus, you would be in the majority.

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Green said the flu easily is spread from person to person by respiratory droplets. And in this study, flu B infections made up 51 percent of the confirmed flu cases. For those in the at risk groups the risk of complications is far greater.

Dr. Cherie Drenzek, Georgia's state epidemiologist, says 25 of the state's flu deaths were people age 65 and older.

Many online debates on the flu shots safety and effectiveness are emerging on social networks even when there are no flu epidemics or vaccination campaigns running.

"I carry around my Bath & Body Works hand sanitizers, because they are easy to attach to a purse or backpack", said Angelina Yearwood, a junior education major.

There are several flu protection steps, according to the Jefferson County Health Department. "Yet on USA college campuses, flu vaccinations are strikingly low". Contact your GP or local pharmacy for more information.

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