Fatal flu season is not over yet

Fatal flu season is not over yet

It's been an active flu season, and the district's Health Services Coordinator, Janette M. Rodriguez, RN, and district nurses have stayed busy educating students and staff about the flu for the past few months.

"We appreciate the cooperation of our patients and visitors with these temporary measures, which are highly effective steps toward reducing the spread of the flu in our communities", said Julie Bryan, RN, CIC, infection prevention coordinator for UM Shore Regional Health.

Health officials warn that the season can continue through May and vaccination is the best defense against the worst of the flu.

Other than washing hands, and avoiding somebody who's sick, she suggests "fist bumping, elbow bumping and try to avoid the handshaking, which we all like to do". Dr. Orly Avitzur said, "It can lessen the risk of complications and being hospitalized if you do get the flu".

Officials with First Student said last week that the flu outbreaks have affected bus drivers.

Menzies-Boule said that the flu season is far from over "and we usually see a second wave of the flu caused by the B strain".

It has proven a challenge to the vaccine.

Gamble says there are many misconceptions that the flu shot causes the flu, but that is not true either.

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Though not 100 percent effective, wearing a surgical mask can help prevent the spread of the flu.

Welch fears hundreds here could die before the flu season ebbs. Wash your hands often to keep from spreading flu to others. If you have flu symptoms, contact your health care provider to seek advice. "But again, also people coughing and sneezing and not covering their cough", said Dr. Hawkinson.

The flu shot starts to offer partial protection immediately but takes about two weeks to offer full protection.

To schedule an appointment to receive a vaccination, find the Parish Health Unit nearest to you by visiting http://ldh.la.gov/FightTheFlu and then call to schedule your visit. People can have the respiratory symptoms without a fever.

Symptoms include fever or chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headaches and fatigue, and sometimes diarrhea and vomiting. "And also for the type of people who could get sick from the flu, especially your little kids, your elderly population, also pregnant women should be getting the flu vaccine", says McDaniel.

"Unfortunately, once you've had the flu you can still get it again because you could get it from a different strain", she said.

Between Aug. 1, 2017 and January 23, 2018, UCSB Student Health administered 1,862 flu vaccines.

Although the majority of confirmed flu cases in the country are among those 65 and older, the most recent FluWatch report from the Public Health Agency of Canada showed pediatric hospitalizations due to flu are above average, compared to the past five years.

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