Flu-related hospitalizations reach 10-year high: 4 things to know

Dr. Parham Jaberi spoke at the Baton Rouge Press Club Monday about this year's severe flu season

Dr. Parham Jaberi spoke at the Baton Rouge Press Club Monday about this year's severe flu season

"To be able to say there is a death due to the vaccination is very highly unlikely".

Most people who get the flu this season are getting sick with the H3N2 strain.

The number of confirmed cases represent the highest number of flu cases in Livingston County since 2009 - the year of the H1N1 virus - when there were 249 confirmed cases of the flu. These groups of people are more likely to experience severe or even deadly complications from the flu.

Influenza cases have increased nationwide in recent weeks.

Welch fears hundreds here could die before the flu season ebbs.

But while some say they will now take advantage of the no cost flu shot. It is recommended they take an antiviral medication as soon as possible.

Children younger than 18 years old must be accompanied by a parent.

How long are people contagious when they're infected?

In Ontario, the H3N2 strain of Influenza A, considered severe, is dominating this year.

"Unfortunately, the vaccine is merely effective against this strain", said Ahmad. Laboratory confirmed cases represent only a fraction of actual cases, because most people are not admitted to the hospital with the flu.

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"There is more than one flu virus circulating this season", she said.

But even those who have not been vaccinated should still roll up their sleeves and get the shot. Only 10% of this year's flu vaccine is affective against strain B, the strain that is causing 80% of this year's flu infections.

This outbreak is particularly hard.

The clinic comes as Livingston County experiences its worst flu season in almost a decade.

Parents and caregivers should be tired about spreading the disease to children and the elderly.

Some employees may fear they will be disciplined or fired if they miss time from work because of the flu.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Louisiana Department of Health recommend a yearly flu shot for everyone over 6 months of age who does not have a complicating condition, such as a prior allergic reaction to the flu shot. Wash your hands thoroughly with warm water and soap and cover your coughs and sneezes with tissues to prevent yourself from spreading the flu to others.

Fisher said to be aware of touching door handles, phone receivers and the like, after someone with the virus has touched it. Another hospital in the Atlanta area this week set up a mobile ER outside to handle flu cases. "It's not too late to help protect from and lessen the effects of the flu, and vaccine is still available".

Insurance, Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is accepted for children's flu shots. Still, it's the first examining the effectiveness of this year's shot in practice.

Fever, aches, cough and sore throat can be eased at home.

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