Early flu season could leave more North Dakotans sick

Early flu season could leave more North Dakotans sick

The four most deadly flu seasons of the last 10 years - in the winters of 2003-2004, 2007-2008, 2012-2013, and 2014-15 - were H3N2 seasons, each with a particular version of that flu type.

Between twelve-thousand and fifty-six-thousand deaths each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Flu is a contagious, viral illness that causes mild to severe symptoms that, in rare cases, can lead to death. The flu usually peaks in January or February, but it can occur as early as October and as late as May.

"Flu is increasing. We're seeing a pretty steep increase in influenza activity across the U.S. but especially in the South", said Brendan Flannery, a co-author of the new report and an epidemiologist in the CDC's flu division.

The report stated that Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts and Oklahoma have reported widespread activity during the week ending November 25.

Despite this guidance, fewer than half of Americans have received a jab this season. Flu related complications can include pneumonia and dehydration. He says the best way to avoid the flu is to get immunized with a flu shot.

For the elderly or others who are especially vulnerable, a doctor may prescribe an antiviral medication to help lesson symptoms.

Are pregnant women getting "appropriate" care?

"Grandparents are an important part of our families, and as they age, their health begins to decline", said Serese Marotta, Chief Operating Officer, Families Fighting Flu.

Still, "I believe it's worth getting the vaccine", Siegel said.

The sniffing, the coughing the fever.

Doctors typically look south to get an idea of what's coming.

"Some patients believe the possible side effects outweigh the positives that they get from prevention", she said.

"Because there is a risk, there should be a choice", Smith said.

County health district officials in Reno said Thursday both victims were 80 years old and both were at risk for complications of the flu due to underlying medical conditions.

And the vaccine is no guarantee of protection.

The Wyoming Department of Health is reporting a growing number of flu cases in the state in recent weeks. We encourage individuals, and especially seniors, to protect themselves this holiday season with an annual flu vaccine so that they can continue doing the things they love with their families.

"So given that, particularly for the H3N2 component, the vaccine effectiveness we're anticipating will be low", predicted Skowronski. "There's still some protection against all flu illness in Australia last season". The dominant flu virus strain is H3N2, which can result in more severe illnesses than other strains.

"The effectiveness changes from year to year", says Spicer.

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