Number of flu cases remains high in St. Louis County

Flu hits York County. Vaccine is less effective this year

Wednesday's announcement came after seven people died from the flu Tuesday, according to the county.

The average age of the victims was 85, and lived across all regions of the state. There were 128 positive flu tests during the same period in 2016, health officials said. "Cardiovascular disease, diabetes, immune system disease, all of the diseases that can make it more hard for them to fight the infection".

Officials at Bryan West Hospital reported that the lab there confirmed 91 flu cases last week. During that same period in 2016, there were 87 influenza-associated hospitalizations.

It is not too late to benefit from a flu shot this season.

Flu peaks vary from season to season in Idaho, though it's usually January or early February, Pedersen said.

Jones says this week, the hospital has seen an increase in positive flu swabs. Across the country, more than 80 percent of cases this season involve a different, nastier strain, H3N2 - the same strain that plagued Australian during its flu season.

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"This is a bad flu season", Dr. Dan Jernigan, director of the influenza division of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said in a conference call Friday. This is much higher than Australia's flu vaccine, which was only 10% effective against H3N2.

Headaches, fevers, muscle aches, sore throats, coughs, runny noses and sneezing are all signs of the viral infection.

"With influenza activity on the rise, individuals in these groups should take special precaution as we continue throughout the season", he said. More than 300 have already been hospitalized throughout the state, this according to GDPH.

NPR reports the main strain of flu this season is H3N2, which tends to affect more people and make them sicker once they have the virus.

"If someone is vaccinated and they encounter someone with influenza - unless the vaccine that they received isn't a flawless match - they still will have reduced symptoms as well as a potentially shortened course of the illness", Echols said.

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.

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