Minn. facing potentially severe flu season as hospitalizations climb

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"I learned the hard way to take up the flu jab having been laid low for two weeks before Christmas with nausea, fatigue and aching muscles which has made me determined to be first in the queue next year".

In most cases people feel better after a week. Symptoms are often similar, but the onset of flu is marked by abrupt fever, chills and often body aches, sore throat and a cough.

They typically select three strains of the virus, two A's and a B, but their guesses are never exact, Grayson said.

Category A, is a further broken down into specific strains of the virus, and one of these is H3N2.

The department said as the flu season, now listed in the highest category as widespread, climbs toward its peak, residents can still get flu vaccines and it's not true, despite rumors, that the vaccine isn't effective this year.

In St. Louis County, cases of the flu have nearly doubled since mid-December.

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Hospitals, which are continuing to struggle with the trolley crisis, saw a surge in flu cases, said HSE 's head of public health Dr Kevin Kelleher.

The flu virus is rapidly spreading across the country, causing more deaths and hospitalizations.

Professor Paul Cosford, Medical Director at Public Health England, told the broadcaster: "As we would expect at this time of year, flu levels have increased this week".

"We need to be prepared, alert and flexible".

Taking paracetamol or ibuprofen can help you to feel better and reduce your temperatureHow can I treat influenza at home? Anyone who experiences severe symptoms such as trouble breathing, chest pain, difficulty eating or drinking and confusion should see a provider immediately.

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Unlike H3N2, protection against Yamagata is not included in the vaccine for over-65s or vulnerable patients, such as those with diabetes or respiratory disease. If you end up getting it, DO take it within the 24 to 48 hours.

The Skagit Valley Herald reports the woman who died of the flu there was also over 65 with a chronic medical condition.

Healthcare providers say it's hard to distinguish between common cold and influenza.

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The 1918 Spanish flu pandemic was the deadliest outbreak of the virus in history.

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