DE experiencing mild flu season compared to rest of country

This image from the Pennsylvania Department of Health shows the climb of lab-confirmed flu cases in Pa. through the week ending Jan. 6 2018

DE experiencing mild flu season compared to rest of country

Symptoms of the Australian flu can include an aching body exhaustion, loss of appetite, sudden fevers, nausea and headaches, according to the U.K.'s National Health Service.

But where flu can become deadly is when patients must be admitted to the hospital. In Pennsylvania, through the end of 2017, there were over 6,200 cases documented, with one-third of those in the last week of the year and 60 percent within the last two weeks of December.

Doing so is "very important", Tam said, "as we move ahead to future years of vaccine program planning and recommendations". Even in years where the vaccine is less effective, vaccinations help by reducing the severity of illness in many cases. Preliminary estimates from previous year show the vaccine was 40 percent effective in the USA, similar to 2014-2015.

But this year, experts are warning that the flu vaccine may not be as effective against the severe strain of influenza A which is what appears to be the dominant strain throughout Canada.

Schaffner cautions against using this statistic to predict how well the vaccine will work in the US, since this is not official CDC data, but warns to could be a bad sign.

Twenty-six states - including Maryland and New Jersey - are facing high activity levels of the flu, the CDC report said.

Wakefield said that while both the A and B strains of the flu virus have been reported locally, the more-severe Type A strains have made up the majority of the reported cases. This year there seems to be a 50-50 split. What's more, Tamiflu, is "widely available" according to its manufacturers, who do not expect any shortage of the medication.

Girl Scout cookies on sale through February 25
Last year, almost 2 million boxes of cookies were sold in Western Pennsylvania, alone. In other words, Girl Scout cookies have been around for 101 years!

A Catholic diocese in Northern Ireland has temporarily banned handshakes in an effort to minimize the risk of contracting the Australian flu, which has now spread across the United Kingdom.

The type of flu detected is mostly H3N2, although influenza B detections continue to increase. "You contribute to your own protection and a healthier community - a community where there is less likelihood of spread". People can find a place to get vaccinated at vaccinefinder.org.

"It is late and so do not walk, run", said Schaffner.

Vaccines are available at clinics, pharmacies and doctor offices.

Melanie Arnold of the Illinois Department of Public Health said the state only tracks flu cases that involve hospitalizations or deaths.

The most recent death was a pregnant woman.

That's why she urges Hawaii residents to get vaccinated if they haven't already. "And the vaccine is safe for pregnant women and the fetus". Those included restricting hospital visits for those under age 18, limiting visitors to two per patient, promoting hand washing and assessing visitors for respiratory illness symptoms and asking them to leave or wear a mask. "Nobody wants to be a dreaded spreader". The visitor restrictions will obviously do nothing to prevent patients who contract the flu at the hospital from taking it home with them, should they be discharged before the sickness is diagnosed.

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