Thousands of patients hospitalised with flu as virus 'takes off'

Worried about getting deadly flu? Here are tips to prevent it

The number of cases in Saskatchewan is up 80 percent from previous year, something Werker says should not worry people in the province.

Individuals who are at high risk for developing the flu are also strongly encouraged not to enter the hospital except to receive medical care.

US health officials on Friday said plenty of people are getting sick, and the flu has hit epidemic levels - just as it does most winters. It is not too late.

Dr. Zeeshan Shaikh of Southwest Urgent and Family Care said this is the worst flu season he's ever seen and blames it on a number of different reasons.

Jernigan said this flu season looks a lot like the seasons in 2012-13 and 2014-15, both of which saw the H3N2 strain of the virus as the predominant type of infection.

Officials said the current flu vaccine has little effect on the H3N2 strain that leads to particularly severe symptoms.

Health officials don't now know how effective this season's vaccines.

Five of the eight had underlying health conditions, and all eight were at least 61 years old. "The season has started early, and it is probably peaking right about now", Jernigan added.

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Since October 1, 2017, 14 influenza-related deaths have been reported. In just the past week, hospitalizations have nearly doubled, going from 13.7 per 100,000 to 22.7 per 100,000.

"The problem with flu is you become infectious, that means you become contagious, you can give it to somebody else 24 hours before you know that you even have it".

Jernigan said in 2014-2015, the last severe flu season in the USA, that number reached 6% at this point in the flu season.

Basic measures such as washing hands frequently, staying home when sick, and coughing into sleeves or tissues can help stem the flu from spreading further.

With flu season on the horizon, some emergency rooms in B.C. are feeling the pressure, according to the Provincial Health Officer.

When asked whether there has been a shortage of antivirals, Carter said he has not received reports and will be getting in touch with the state's hospitals and expects it to be part of a conversation today with the CDC. "Even if the vaccine does not prevent you from getting the flu, it will make it less likely for you to become seriously ill or require hospitalization".

The vaccine is available at the county's community health centers.

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