As Peak Flu Season Looms, Hospitals Gear Up for Patients

11 January, 2018, 06:07 | Author: Hope Soto
  • A syringe contains the flu vaccine at Tri City Health Partnership a free health clinic in St. Charles that provides services for those who are uninsured or underinsured

"Everybody should get their flu vaccination and try to avoid contact with people who may be sick", Manrique said. Doctors also say there is still time to get a flu shot if you haven't already.

Both hospital and health department officials are still urging residents to get the flu shot, as it could still protect people from certain strain of the flu or make the flu symptoms less severe and shorter if they get the flu.

Specifically, cases of H3N2, a strain of influenza A, are high.

California is one of the 49 states that reported either regional or widespread flu activity, excluding Delaware.

Furthermore, anyone with flu is advised to stay away from visiting anyone in hospital or anyone ill at home.

An unusually bad flu season predicted by some experts hasn't hit the Brantford area.

"What has happened in some instances over the last week have been just spot shortages of the medication because of increased demand in some cities and in some pharmacies", he said.

Locally, the KFL&A Public Health Unit says the 44 confirmed cases reported since September is on par with most years.

ODH also is reporting 1,750 new confirmed flu-associated hospitalizations in OH during the first week of January which is nearly double the number of hospitalizations during the last week in December.

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Australia also experienced significant cases of influenza B and parts of Canada appear to be mimicking that pattern.

During that time period, a total of 607 cases of the flu were confirmed by lab tests, and 175 of those required hospitalization. There have been fewer than five pediatric deaths.

"Flu is hard to predict", said Dr. Clint Koenig, Ohio Department of Health medical director.

"In the emergency department, patients are treated based on severity of presentation first", she said. "Certainly we're seeing that in the hospital", he said.

"Flu vaccines can vary in effectiveness from season to season but they continue to be the best way to prevent influenza infection and serious influenza complications", according to the FDOH.

De Lota said there are varying reasons why patients don't get the vaccine.

"Anyone that's had influenza, and I mean real influenza - not a sniffle or a cough or a cold - but real, true influenza, they'll know how severe this can be", Bogoch said. "That way, more people in the community are vaccinated".

"Even though the protection offered for this current strain is less than we would like, it does offer some degree of protection".

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