Flu Season: How to Stay Healthy

Influenza Making Inroads in Greenwich: Not too Late for Vaccine; Tamiflu Shortages

50 Flu-Related Deaths In Indiana, So Far

In Nebraska and Iowa, there have been around 800 confirmed cases just this past week in each state.

For the week ending January 6, the average rate of emergency room visits from people who reported flu-like symptoms was 5.8 percent among health care providers across the state, up from 1.9 percent during the same week a year ago, according to the Indiana State Department of Health.

Still, Paul Friedrichs, a family physician with Lamprey Healthcare in Newmarket, says that's no reason to avoid the shot altogether. Kansans have tested positive for both influenza type A and type B, the KDHE reported.

Doctors treated 874 people last week compared with 587 patients the week before, officials said.

Some media reports have speculated that this year's flu shot will only be about 10% effective for Americans, based on results seen in Australia during its flu season.

After news that a 10-year-old CT boy died from flu-related complications, many are wondering what symptoms indicate they should seek immediate care?

"So it's not that it's not a good match", Green said. The CDC doesn't know if this year could be one of the worst flu seasons the agency has seen. It can take up to two week for the vaccine to take effect, but it can help minimize the seriousness of flu symptoms. Still, Green said, the vaccine protects people from other influenza strains, can reduce the severity of the flu and its symptoms and protect against complications like hospitalization or death.

"We suggest the phenomenon of 1918 is not unique", Miller said. "So because of that, people will come down with it more".

The current flu season started earlier than in the past and is likely peaking, according to the CDC.

Staff members at Torrance Memorial Medical Center have been working long hours to care for a swell in sick patients that began in late December, said Dr. James McKinnell, infectious disease specialist.

Modern medicine has, however, advanced significantly since 1918, so it's unlikely that as many people will die from the complications of flu, he said. This means if you are travelling to southern hemisphere countries during their winter months, you will find yourself in the middle of peak flu season there.

There are other things people can do to help prevent the spread of flu that SHD recommends. So paramedics can't get back on the road to answer more 911 calls, said Kay Fruhwirth, Los Angeles County's assistant director of emergency medical services.

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