The Flu Nearly Reached Epidemic Levels This Season

Credit Oklahoma State Department of Health

Credit Oklahoma State Department of Health

California is one of the 49 states that reported either regional or widespread flu activity, excluding Delaware. Although wait times have remained mostly the same, this new area has decreased congestion in the emergency department, said Stefany Snedden, communications co-ordinator with the health-care system.

One UAB infectious disease physician says this year's flu situation is a lot worse than in years past.

"But even if it isn't the exact strain, or a hundred-percent match, which it really can't be, it still provides some coverage, and if people do get the flu, if they've gotten the flu shot, it usually is not as severe or as long".

Because people can be contagious for up to a week after the onset of symptoms, they are asked not to visit anyone in the hospital or accompany someone to appointments until they are symptom free.

Symptoms of the flu include fever, headache, cough, runny or stuffy nose, fatigue and muscle aches.

The most predominant strain circulating through Mohave County and Arizona is Influenza AH3, which causes more severe illness and is the least effective component of the seasonal flu vaccine, as compared with Influenza AH1N1 and Influenza B, the county health official said.

Doctors and nurses throughout North Texas are preparing for another round of flu patients in emergency rooms and clinics. "Last year, Mohave County experienced a similar spike in activity as this same time, and it did end up being our peak activity".

Furthermore, anyone with flu is advised to stay away from visiting anyone in hospital or anyone ill at home.

He said most cases of the flu do not require hospitalization.

Joanie Morgan, vice president of quality and patient safety at Citrus Memorial Hospital, said most people who get the flu recover in a few days or up to two weeks. Younger patients tend to present a little bit differently.

Up to December 30, 1,050 influenza-associated hospitalizations had been reported and 34 deaths.

"The virus we're giving them is dead, it's virtually impossible to get the flu from a vaccine", de Lota said.

The CDC says you can help limit the spread of the flu by washing your hands often and disinfecting spots that are touched frequently.

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