The CDC said they aren't sure how severe this flu season will end up being, but the number of related deaths continues to increase. The strain is considered especially risky to young children and older adults over the age of 65.
The flu is affecting people over 65 years of age the most and there have been 54 reported flu deaths in Canada this season, the FluWatch report said.
Doctors said it is impossible to get the flu from the flu shot. When H3 viruses are predominant, we tend to have a worse flu season with more hospitalizations and more death.
Werker, Deputy Chief Medical Health Officer, says the flu can take very many forms during the flu season.
"And we've also seen Influenza B hitting older people in long term care facility outbreaks, as well". There has been some talk about the vaccine not being that effective this year.
Perry Kendall says more people are being diagnosed with Influenza B than there are A. Health officials are continuing to urge otherwise healthy people with routine cases of flu to rest and recover at home so that emergency services are available for people with life-threatening complications.
"If the significant percentage of this population hasn't been vaccinated you have a greater number of individuals that are susceptible to influenza", Echols said. In just the past week, hospitalizations have nearly doubled, going from 13.7 per 100,000 to 22.7 per 100,000.
One reason is the flu season may just be peaking earlier this year than it did last year.
Since October 1, 2017, 14 influenza-related deaths have been reported.
"The H3N2 strain that's circulating is a little bit harder of a virus too, it's robust", said Casie Stoughton, Director of City of Amarillo Public Health. This includes avoiding people who are sick, staying home when sick, cover your cough and frequently wash your hands. Wake Forest Baptist, Cone Health, and Novant Health put in visitor restrictions for the rest of the flu season. If you start on anti-viral medications within a day or two of when your symptoms start, your risk of serious disease, hospitalization and even death can be reduced.
There are a lot of other illnesses going around and Quinlisk offers some advice to know if you might have the flu.
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