Published: Sat, January 13, 2018
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

What you need to know if you haven't gotten the flu (yet)

What you need to know if you haven't gotten the flu (yet)

This season's influenza-related deaths jumped last week from 45 to 91. The state Department of Public Health in CT recently labeled the virus as "widespread" in the state. The number of patients heading to doctors and hospitals doubled in the last week.

Ron Roberts was the first supervisor to broach the subject of declaring an emergency, as the county did September 1 during the region's ongoing hepatitis A outbreak.

If, however, you have symptoms of flu and are in a high risk group, or are very sick or anxious about your illness, contact your health care provider (doctor, physician assistant, etc.).

While the standard adult flu jab doesn't protect against "Japanese flu", the quadrivalent vaccine does offer protection against the bug.

If all act responsibly, we would have less sick people and our health system would not need to be brought to the point of collapse, as has instead happened. In the first week of January, the Mass. DPH says rates of flu-like illness have continued to rise.

Virologist Professor John Oxford, of Queen Mary University in London, predicted another cold snap will fuel the spread of H3N2 and "kick cases into another orbit" and warned the killer virus spreads much easier in low temperatures. In that last week of December, Emergency Department visits were up 7%.

With many parts of the country, including Shasta County, experiencing high flu activity, the Shasta County Health and Human Services Agency is urging people to take steps to keep from spreading the illness.

"Wash your hands frequently with soap and warm water in case you have touched an infected surface, and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth in case your hands have become contaminated".

Have we peaked or is it getting worse? .

Flu shots from HHSA are $11 each.

Like that deadly 2014-2015 flu season, which caused about 20,000 deaths in the US, this year's predominate strain of flu is H3N2. We don't know when we're going to peak.

It is turning into a particularly nasty flu season.

One thing that is abundantly clear is that this has already been almost the deadliest flu season on record. During the 2014-2015 H3N2 flu epidemic, 147 pediatric deaths were recorded in the U.S.

To be sure, this is not just a San Diego County problem.

Health experts have reiterated calls for vulnerable people to get their flu jab amid increasing winter pressure on the NHS.

A report from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health shows the severity of the virus in the Commonwealth.

Avoid sharing pens. They are covered in people's germs. So, a rash of new cases is usually followed weeks later by a rash of deaths.

Those who show flu symptoms (see below) should contact their physician immediately to get testing and effective treatment promptly, if needed, which may include anti-influenza medications like Tamiflu (best within 2 days of symptom onset).

Practice other good health habits.

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