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Flu activity hits Central New York harder than rest of state

09 January 2018

With almost 600 flu cases last week, Central Florida's Centra Care centers reported a 200-percent increase compared with the same time a year ago and a 400-percent increase compared to 2015.

Welch said those who believe they have the flu should not go out in public.

Welch said flu sufferers should keep their distance from others until at least 24 hours after their fever is gone, without the help of medication.

He couldn't comment on specific cases.

"We are now averaging 50-60 inpatients daily who have been diagnosed", Rogers said.

In total there have been 1,078 hospital admissions with flu since October, with around a quarter due to the H3N2 strain which triggered two and a half times the usual number of flu cases in Australia. The peak is in the mid-winter.

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While no deaths have yet been reported in the UK, Public Health England's latest flu report reveals that 17 people are now in intensive care or a high-dependency unit with H3N2. Still, H3 dominance is not unusual, McClinton said.

Last year's jab was 66 per cent effective in children and 41 per cent in adults under 65, but offered next to no protection to older Brits.

"In more severe seasons, the flu causes approximately 700 deaths and almost 8,000 hospitalizations each year", said Dr. Rebekah Gee, secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health.

Welch said it's hard to know exactly why the season got off to such a roaring start.

Medical professionals around the state have been lobbying for the flu shot for everyone over six months of age who does not have a complicating condition, such as a prior allergic reaction to the vaccine. "Thirty percent (effectiveness) is a lot better than zero". It looks like this year, the Influenza A component of the vaccine is not that effective.

"Generally speaking, two or three flu viruses are always circulated at any one time and the HSE attempts, with the vaccine, to target these". That does not necessarily predict how the virus and vaccine will act in the USA, but it can one indicator.

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"So both Australia and the Northern Hemisphere are having a pretty tough year", Dowell said.

Dowell recounted a story of a young woman coming into the ER with severe back pain, which was a rare way that her flu infection presented.

Officials are asking people, if they are ill, not to visit hospitals, residential care homes or assisted living facilities.

A flu nasal spray is available free to children aged two to eight, who are thought to be the main spreaders of flu. He noted hand-washing as another critical factor.

It is especially important for high-risk groups to be vaccinated.

Doctors said there is no cure for the flu, that they are soley treating symptoms.

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"We're seeing a high level of stress right now, where at any given time hospitals are on complete bypass saying don't bring anybody here", Langford said. At that point, the illness is best treated symptomatically, like using cough medicine.

Flu activity hits Central New York harder than rest of state