Health Care

Flu season soars in the United States, especially in the South

A pharmacist at the Wal Greens on Wilson Street in Brewer prepares to inject a patient with the flu vaccine

Each year, hundreds of thousands Americans are hospitalized for flu and thousands die, according to the CDC.

As of November 25, nearly 2,100 lab-confirmed cases had been detected in various parts of the country, of which 84 per cent were influenza A. Those infections resulted in 371 hospitalizations, including 21 ICU admissions, and eight deaths, the report says. The CDC says this is side effect is rare, but a court found Smith was entitled to compensation.

Being vaccinated better protects not only the individual, but also everyone around them.

Tonda Francis, vice president of Regional Coordination and Clinical Initiatives at the Health Collaborative, said the rate of employees who are terminated for refusing flu shots is low. The cost of adult flu vaccine is $25.00. Welltok identified consumers' top excuses for not getting the flu shot misperceptions like "it causes the flu" and "healthy people do not need the shot".

According to the department's reports, it was child who did not get their flu shot this year.

By now, we have all had our flu shots, right?

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In its weekly FluWatch report, the Public Health Agency of Canada says the annual sneezing-coughing season began early this year - especially with illness due to influenza B - and the percentage of laboratory-positive tests for flu is higher at this point on the calendar compared with previous seasons. "Getting it during the holiday season is even worse", said Chakravarty. Other groups who are at high risk include children 5 and younger, pregnant women and those with chronic medical conditions, such as asthma, diabetes or heart disease.

Among children younger than 18, there had only been 16 cases in the first 11 months of the year, 27 last year and five in 2015, CDC Deputy Director-General Philip Lo (羅一鈞) said.

"We do see a predominance of the H3N2 virus that was common last season", Flannery said.

Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University, said that vaccine effectiveness is not a simple measure. Australian health records show an effectiveness of less than 10 per cent for the same vaccine used by Canada.

Each flu season is unique; the timing of the peak activity and how severe a season will be are hard to predict, making it very important to protect yourself against flu as early as possible.

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