Flu has killed 20 children already this season

Flu has killed 20 children already this season

Despite concerns that the flu shot isn't as effective this year, health officials say it's too early to confirm.

Even though we're at the peak, we likely have 11 to 13 more weeks left in the flu season.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends anyone over 6 months of age receive a flu vaccination.

"The 10 percent is a very low estimate that came out of Australia over their season last summer", Jernigan said.

High flu activity has been reported in New York City as well as Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wyoming, the CDC said. The most vulnerable are the very old and very young and also those who have weakened immune systems. This year, the H3N2 strain is spreading fast, and appears to be more widespread and potent than last year. In each of the past several flu seasons, at least 100 children have died, according to CDC data. Vaccine effectiveness against H3N2 viruses has been around 30 percent.

Dr. Chang says people with flu symptoms shouldn't worry about lack of insurance or money, that it's much more important to be treated.

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The Ohio Department of Health said influenza A, or H3N2, is the most common virus this season.

"The levels of illness we are seeing are still well within the normal range for what we see in a typical flu season", said Dr. Robert Strang, chief medical officer of health for Nova Scotia.

Andrew Wagg, administrator at Living Center West in Cedar Rapids, says one patient out of 80 has been diagnosed with Influenza.

The effects of the season are already being seen across the country, with 19 confirmed flu deaths in Alberta and four deaths in London, Ontario.

Houston ISD said nurses have reported 421 cases of students with flu-like illness. The flu can lead to complications like pneumonia, dehydration and worsening of chronic medical conditions.

The spread of flu can be reduced if people stay home while sick, cover their coughs or sneezes, wash hands and avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth. If you start on anti-viral medications within a day or two of when your symptoms start, your risk of serious disease, hospitalization and even death can be reduced.

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