Marcha 19, 2018

Flu season appears in West Michigan; doctors urge flu shot

12 Enero 2018, 06:45 | Martinez Canez

Couple suffering with flu symptoms stock image

Couple suffering with flu symptoms stock image

Flu deaths are already 10 times higher than the same time a year ago, the highest rate in a decade.

The influenza A strain known as H3N2 is the behind numerous cases.

"CDC continues to recommend influenza vaccination as flu viruses are likely to continue circulating for weeks", the agency says. That does not take into account all those who have come down with the flu but have not sought medical care. Central Massachusetts has the lowest rate of flu-like sicknesses so far, with a reported 0.88 percent activity level.

Jill Baber, influenza surveillance coordinator with the Division of Disease Control with the state, said eight cases have resulted in death, and two of those were in the state's northeast quadrant. A nasty flu season is hitting US hospitals already scrambling to maintain patient care amid severe shortages of crucial sterile fluids, particularly saline solution needed to administer I.V. medicines and rehydrate patients.

"Its been a pretty bad season".

Flu season in the US typically starts in October and ends in May, peaking between December and February.

Cindy Ramirez may be reached at 546-6151;; @EPTCindyRamirez on Twitter. Throw the tissue away immediately and wash your hands.

COVER: Cover your cough.

Cover your mouth and nose. The crook of your elbow will do.

DOCTOR'S ORDERS Think you've got Aussie flu? Ask about special high-dose vaccines specifically for older adults. This year's vaccine targets an H1N1-like virus, a virus with a B/Victoria lineage, and an H3N2-like virus known as A/Hong Kong/4801/2014, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

What is the difference between a cold and the flu? "We are seeing an increase in of activity in emergency rooms with people with influenza-like illnesses meaning we may see an increase in our death numbers and ICU numbers", Berber said.

Flu symptoms include sudden high fever, headache, dry cough, chills and/or severe body aches and fatigue.

"It's also very important to stay home if you're not feeling well", she said. They may indicate an allergic reaction to the flu shot.

Is there a prescription for the flu? Antiviral drugs may be prescribed to treat the flu.

Masks aren't particularly effective in keeping you from catching the flu, although they may help keep sick people who wear them from spreading their germs further. "If I feel like someone has the flu, it's better to go ahead and start them on anti-viral medications even before I get the laboratory tests back", he said.

Avoid close contact. Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Stay home until you are better, at least for 24 hours after your fever is gone. You can use that bottle of hand sanitizer also if you must, but don't use it by itself.

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