Experts warn 2018 is among worst for flu outbreak

13 January, 2018, 01:53 | Author: Brian Mcdaniel
  • This year's flu season could be more severe than years past because of the dominant strain H3N2

Influenza activity "has rapidly increased" over the past two weeks and been reported in all eight counties, according to officials from the Connecticut Department of Public Health. "We haven't really seen a season quite like this in a little while", she says.

He said Monday he was convinced that the current system, which has medical leaders from across the region monitoring the flu in real time and meeting in person twice per week, is enough for the time being.

Despite exhibiting numerous same symptoms as your average garden-variety flu, the Influenza A virus subtype H3N2 is a much more virulent strain.

Health officials noted that flu activity in Hawaii usually picks up after the holidays.

FLU-ED UP Can YOUR child get a free flu jab?

Children and pregnant women are among the groups of people at highest risk for flu complications. With months to go before the flu traditionally burns out, the 91 deaths reported so far almost eclipse the current record of 97 set during the winter of 2014-2015. In Australia, for example, media reports called it the worst flu outbreak on record.

To avoid overcrowding emergency departments, it's recommended patients check with their healthcare provider or an urgent care before going to the ER, and if coughing, wear a mask to the doctor's office.

First it was bird flu, then swine, and now Australian flu is latest deadly influenza to hit our shores, causing a spike in hospital admissions and mounting panic. The state Department of Public Health in CT recently labeled the virus as "widespread" in the state.

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Those who show flu symptoms (see below) should contact their physician immediately to get testing and effective treatment promptly, if needed, which may include anti-influenza medications like Tamiflu (best within 2 days of symptom onset). Unless you have a case of scurvy, no science has shown any concrete effect of vitamin C being helpful when you're sick.

The good news is that there's a vaccine! .

But is it too late to get one? .

Visit your health care provider or one of the many retail locations that offer the flu vaccine, including many drug and grocery stores.

"It's an imperfect vaccine, but it's the best we have, and it still does provide a terrific amount of protection", Schaffner told ABC News.

In one case, the patient died of pneumonia after contracting the Type B influenza virus, CDC doctor Tsou Tsung-pei (鄒宗珮) said, adding that the 77-year-old man also had cancer and a history of chronic disease.

Avoid close contact with well people in your house so you won't make them sick.

Among other precautions that can be taken, the health department said, are to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing, and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

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