Medicine

Sneezes and sniffles: Sask. flu season may have peaked

Sneezes and sniffles: Sask. flu season may have peaked

As of the week ending January 6, the Minnesota Department of Health reports more than 1,700 flu-related hospitalizations, 55 outbreaks of influenza-like illness in long-term care facilities, 43 outbreaks in schools and one pediatric flu death this season.

Health officials said the A strain is the most prevalent this season.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the flu season nationwide is far worse than what they saw a year ago at this time.

The state has seen over 3,800 flu-associated hospitalizations this season, according to the Associated Press.

Haggie says all people can really do is monitor their own health, wash their hands a little more than usual and stay away from anyone who is at greater risk should they be infected with the flu.

Aussie flu has been wreaking havoc across Britain - at the beginning of this week the virus was recorded in every postcode in the UK. The City of Houston Health Department said one woman died at the end of November, while the other died at the end of December.

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Grayson and Nicki Andrews are registered infection prevention nurses at Texas Health Resources, and just last week, they diagnosed 63 positive flu cases, with more to come.

Only injectable flu shots are recommended for use again this season.

The UK flu report shows H3N2 is the main virus being detected but intensive care admissions - a marker of serious disease - show flu B is having a big impact too, in all age groups but especially children. Although the shot this year is showing relatively low effectiveness because of variations in the predominant H3N2 influenza A virus, it's still far better than no shot. Even otherwise-healthy people can become very sick from flu, and we still have a lot of flu season left.

Because this year's influenza activity period began earlier than last year, Werker said the year-to-year numbers are like comparing apples to oranges. Shelly Harkins says that people should take any precaution they can to prevent the spread of the flu. "Parents should make sure their kids are vaccinated and keep them home from school if they have flu-like illness or symptoms". Remember the four "C" s: Clean your hands, Cover your cough, Contain germs by avoiding others when you're sick, and Call your doctor if you experience a high-grade fever.

Sentara family medicine and internal medicine practices have the vaccines for $75 out of pocket, but individuals without insurance can get the shot for $37.50, according to Sentara spokeswoman Kelsea Smith.