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What you need to know if you haven't gotten the flu (yet)
13 January 2018, 01:22 | Audrey Hill
Pa. sees a dozen new deaths as flu continues to surge
Visitors, especially young children, can unknowingly spread the influenza virus. All the deaths happened in Benton County.
Local health experts have said those most at risk are people with chronic medical conditions, who are pregnant, who 65-years or older, or who live with or care for others at risk.
"We offer our deepest sympathies to the individual's loved ones", he added. During that time, 1,574 patients visited emergency rooms with flu symptoms.
California isn't alone. All but a handful of states are experiencing widespread, rather than regional, outbreaks according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Rising flu levels have contributed to severe pressure seen in the nation's hospitals.
While Watt said the public health department can not predict if those numbers will continue to increase or level off, he noted that the number of deaths is higher than in previous flu seasons at this point in time. In the US, there have been reports of tents set up at overcrowded California hospitals, where the death toll had reached 27 as of Friday - up from just three during the same period a year ago. Last year, 252 flu cases had been reported at this time.
The symptoms of most flu, including H3N2, are the same but some can be worse than others. They said about 100 people under age 65 die in a standard season and up to 300 have died during severe seasons.
Vaccination is still the main focus of San Diego County's flu outreach effort. Of those, 122 were hospitalized for the flu.
Dr. Skelton says it's still not too late to get your flu shot, "Even though we're seeing decreased success rates with the flu vaccine, at least 30 percent of patients will get benefit from it, so it's still recommended to get the flu vaccine".
State epidemiologist Dr. Gil Chavez noted that his department has provided more than 500,000 doses of vaccine at no cost to public health departments around the state for those individuals who can not afford a flu shot. In the 2013-2014 flu season, the CDC reported that 90 percent of children who died did not receive the vaccine. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub and rub your hands together well. If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. Germs spread this way.
Cover your mouth and nose.
"There's simple hygiene: washing hands, making sure people don't cough into other people's faces, things like that is really the only way to prevent it", Hensley said. The fast lane for access to your insides are all those openings in your head; your eyes, nose, mouth and ears. Antiviral drugs may be prescribed to treat the flu.
Doctors in West Michigan are asking people to do what they can to protect themselves from the influenza viruses.
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