1st flu-related child death reported in New Jersey

10 January, 2019, 21:46 | Author: Denise Dawson
  • As flu outbreak numbers rise, the HSE says it's not too late to get your vaccine

CDC officials say there were 510 confirmed influenza cases through January 5 - down from 768 during the same time period in 2017-2018.

Cases for the most recent week fell to 357, compared to 396 reported in the previous week.

"When someone has the flu, it's also important to watch for potential severe complications", said James Toothman, DO, chief of emergency and trauma medicine at PVH.

"For the current season, the H3N2 strain included in the vaccine has been updated to better match the circulating strain, which will hopefully result in better protection against this strain compared to a year ago", Durham said.

This year's strain of influenza is now considered "widespread" in Alabama and is likely to increase, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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Kids under the age of five have been particularly vulnerable to the flu virus this year, with a higher rate of confirmed cases based on the percentage of the population. "This year, the predominant strain we're seeing is H1N1", Shahab said. The death toll is lower, too, having reached a total of 91 at this point last season.

The flu is mainly affecting children and the over 65s, said HSE public health specialist Dr Kevin Kelleher.

"Often, we see more than one influenza strain throughout the whole winter season".

But experts still keep a careful eye on the H1N1 strain, which in 1918 infected 500 million people worldwide and killed 50 million in one of the worst disease outbreaks in recorded history. As symptoms progress, more serious problems such as pneumonia, a lung infection, or breathing problems can occur. "Influenza is always unsafe", Schaffner said. The CDC recommends the vaccine for anyone over the age of 6 months old, he added.

"What I can tell you is that the people who have been hospitalized and the deaths that were associated with the flu this year are people who have not been immunized, a majority of them have not been immunized", said Dr. Jennifer Russell, chief medical officer of health for New Brunswick. The flu vaccine, when given by a pharmacist at a network pharmacy, is covered by the pharmacy benefit for free. 10 people are known to have died from the sickness so far. "This is called 'herd immunity, '" he explained. "When you get vaccinated, you are not just protecting yourself, you are also protecting the people you love". The shot is a vaccine that helps protect you against the seasonal flu virus. You may have a little low-grade fever, little achiness a day or two after getting the flu shot.

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