Things you should pay attention on, about bad flu

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DSHS reported that the flu activity has increased in the Amarillo Health Service Region (Health Service Region 1).

Officials have reported eight more influenza-related deaths, bringing the Iowa total to 14 since October 1.

Flu peaks vary from season to season in Idaho, though it's usually January or early February, Pedersen said.

Seventeen flu-related deaths is drastically higher compared to previous year at this time when Manitoba health reported one death. The predominant strain of the flu virus, H3N2, is one of the strains targeted in current flu vaccines. Several factors are contributing to the rising flu death tolls sweeping the nation.

"It's very important that residents call their health care provider as soon as possible if they're experiencing flu symptoms to determine if antiviral drugs should be prescribed", Hacker said. That same strain is now wreaking havoc on the U.S. Some experts speculate this year's vaccine may only be 10 percent effective against the flu strain.

Data from some mid-Missouri counties show the number of confirmed flu cases doubled compared to the 2016-17 flu season.

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The 1918 flu pandemic infected an estimated 500 million people worldwide, about one-third of the planet's population at the time, and killed an estimated 20 to 50 million victims, more than all the wars in the century combined, according to History.com.

Flu vaccines are recommended for everyone 6 months of age and older and are available to the Ashland County-City Health Department by calling 419-282-4357. Antivirals are used to treat those at high-risk for flu complications - young children, the elderly, individuals with underlying medical conditions and women who are pregnant.

Act quickly if you: Develop sudden chest pain Have difficulty breathing Start coughing up blood Where can you get the flu jab?

After a record number of influenza cases in St. Louis County in the last week of 2017, the numbers have dipped, but only slightly.

"This is the first year the continental map of the United States is all one color, meaning widespread activity", said Dan Jernigan, MD, MPH, director of the influenza division at the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. Anyone who has the flu should be fever-free for at least 24-hours before returning to work or school.

Health officials also urged people to continue to practice good hygiene such as hand washing, covering coughs and sneezes, not touching the eyes, nose, or mouth, and staying home if sick. "Be sure to wash your hands, particularly if you are sick yourself", Harris said.

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