Flu still on the rise in Erie County, causing severe illness, hospitalizations


"It seems to be a little more intense this year".

Edwards said important lessons from the new study are that flu vaccination coverage in children must be improved, as does maternal vaccination, given that only one-third of pregnant women are immunized against flu in the recent season. This year, she expects the flu to hit its high point in late February.

Basically, yes. You may have heard that this year, the flu shot contains the "wrong" strain.

"I might be scared of the flu, but I don't want to sacrifice fashion", she said. And while the vaccine appears to be less effective against the H3N2 flu strain dominating this season, it still could lessen the severity of the illness. If you feel achy and are running a fever, seek medical attention. After that, the anti-viral medication Tamiflu doesn't work.

Benard and the CDC recommend that, if you are sick with a flu-like illness, you should stay home for at least 24 hours.

"We're going to get a handle on it within the next few weeks", she said.

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The CDC tracks pediatric flu deaths closely.

During that time, 675 deaths were reported in children younger than 18, with an average of 113 deaths per year.

The department confirmed the news during its monthly meeting on Tuesday.

Right now, Influenza B is showing up a lot more in laboratory testing of sick people, although there's still plenty of Influenza A to go around. The CDC developed a vaccine to help combat the flu early in the season, but this year's strain mutated, making the vaccine not work for most people.

Some people think getting the flu shot puts them at risk for the flu, but that's not true. Doctors were anxious about young children carrying the disease into the hospital without even knowing it.

If possible, avoid any contact with a person infected with the flu virus.

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Common symptoms include fever, body aches, fatigue, coughing, and sore throat. However, children and people with weakened immune systems can infect others for longer periods of time, especially if they still have symptoms. Vogmasks, which sells fashionable patterned respirator masks, has seen a 20% uptick in sales this flu season.

Public health officials are still encouraging people to get the flu shot if they haven't, both because flu is expected to remain active for at least several more weeks and because other strains of flu are appearing with greater frequency.

Since mid December the number of cases has skyrocketed.

Here in Riverside County, deaths have almost doubled, bringing the deaths of people under the age of 64 who've died of flu related illness to 20.

Since the flu season is just now reaching a peak, there will likely be even more deaths. All four Delawareans had underlying health issues.

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