Flu outbreak continues with a rising number of child deaths

Source WGCL

Source WGCL

Confirmed cases of the flu in NY state shot up 35 percent last week, prompting Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday to authorize emergency financial assistance to counties fighting the flu. "While it has started to decline, we do not expect it to taper off completely anytime soon", said Arielle LeVeaux, the quality coordinator at West Valley Hospital. "Local residents should stay home when they feel sick, cover coughs and sneezes, and. disinfect high-touch surfaces frequently", the health unit said.

According to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, influenza (the flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses.

Department Director Nate Smith said the majority of flu-related deaths are reported after the peak of transmission, which hasn't arrived yet.

It remains a nuisance, but the flu's momentum locally and statewide waned a bit over the past week, according to S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control reports.

Each year, between 4,000 and 50,000 Americans are specifically killed by influenza, and most commonly it's caused from a variation of an influenza A strain virus (per CDC data).

"In terms of the flu, the flu shot is actually your first and is what we consider the most important step in preventing someone from actually getting the flu virus".

This year's flu vaccine is protecting only about 1 in 3 people who received the shot.

The county's release stated that one of those child deaths occurred in Yamhill County, but did not provide further details, and reiterated that those who are at higher risk of severe illness or death include children, adults over 65, pregnant women and those who have chronic medical conditions or weak immune systems.

So, yes, you can get the flu twice in one season. Martin says with several months of influenza left, it's very likely that record will be broken.

That reduction in severity, he said, is pretty much what's expected when influenza B begins to represent a larger number of the cases coming in day to day.

The virus spreads quickly in crowded spaces, such as dorms, classrooms or shopping centers, through contact with infected people's bodily fluids.

Last month, the Governor signed an executive order allowing pharmacists to administer flu vaccines to children ages 2 to 18.

The health department will be offering free flu shots on Saturday at Woodland Hills Mall.

"I knew that there was a possibility I'd get the flu, but I didn't really think I'd get it", Zappia said.

"Studies have not shown thimerosal in vaccines to be harmful, but flu vaccines that do not contain thimerosal are available", the CDC wrote.

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