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16 February 2018, 04:46 | Franklin Nunez
Oklahoma records first flu-related pediatric death of season
Flu strains mutate every year.
The state's first influenza-associated pediatric death this year was confirmed Tuesday in Essex County by The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH).
Flu continues to ravage the United States in one of the worst flu seasons in recent years.
"Normally the national baseline is 2.2 percent", he said.
According to influenza surveillance reports compiled by the LDH for the week of January 28 to February 3, reported cases of people with influenza-like illnesses are more than twice the activity seen in a typical flu season.
"For anyone, it is still worthwhile to get vaccinated". During each of those seasons, flu accounted for around 710,000 hospitalizations and 56,000 deaths.
The Department of Health surveyed physician offices, pharmacies, SUNY Geneseo, and UR Medicine/Noyes Health to see which flu vaccine and how much of each are available.
"We still have a little flu vaccine left, and we want to be out of it in the near future", Crampton said.
Since the flu is a virus, antibiotics can not be used for its treatment. Body aches are also frequently reported. "They may be getting a pneumonia, a bacterial pneumonia, after having kind of gotten through the flu", she said. In Australia, interim estimates showed the vaccine to be only 10 percent effective against H3N2, and researchers recently reported that early data show that the vaccine is about 17 percent effective in Canada against that strain. "Twenty-five percent vaccine effectiveness translates into thousands of prevented hospitalizations and ICU admissions and many deaths prevented".
The current flu season began on September 1, 2017.
Although it happens every year, the exact timing can differ one year to another.
There were no pediatric deaths in the latest report issued Thursday by the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services.
Crampton said though rare, there have been times when it has extended into June and July.
Several aspects have contributed to making this a particularly hard flu season.
"The types of virus so far in Wyoming, up until now, have been nearly all influenza A", Crampton said. And it was 42 percent effective against Type B flu viruses.
Some national media are saying the infection rate now equals the peak of the 2009 pandemic. This will ultimately decrease the number of people exposed to the virus.
Crampton said a lot of people "stay home and power through it".
Vaccine effectiveness is tricky to measure, because there is no way to know how many vaccinated people never got ill at all.
Frequent and thorough hand-washing with soap and warm water.
Doctors may recommend prescription antiviral medications to help treat influenza.
Cloninger did note that there had been a shortage on the flu vaccine recently throughout the area. I generally advise that people stay home when diagnosed with the flu for at least 48 hours and until they are fever free for 24 hours.
Superintendent James F. Scully said city schools are thoroughly cleaning and sanitizing classrooms in wake of the news. If you are close enough to a person with the flu (3 to 6 feet) when they cough or sneeze, you can breathe in the virus and get sick.
Flu season is still here and several preventative measures exist for an individual to avoid catching the virus. The flu usually comes on suddenly.
"There may be spot shortages of certain types of flu vaccine", said Root, who encouraged everyone over the age of six months to get a flu shot.
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