Influenza affecting more people than normal: Northern Health

Simon Moss
February 6, 2018

There has been one pediatric flu death in CT. But the data show a higher percentage of hospital visits for flu-like illnesses than in the previous two seasons. The Office of Public Health monitors patients with flu-like symptoms using a health care provider surveillance system. That's the highest level since the swine flu pandemic in 2009. The flu continues to increase in the East and unchanged in the South.

Experts had thought this season might be bad, but its intensity has surprised most everyone. There was a high potency variety for the very susceptible elderly and the multi strain dose for the rest of us. Another hospital in the Atlanta area this week set up a mobile ER outside to handle flu cases.

So, yes, you can get the flu twice in one season.

Hospitalizations also vary widely depending on the severity of the season.

Martin said one child has died in the outbreak.

This year's flu season is shaping up to become the worst in recent years, causing a record number of hospitalizations across the country, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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"We've had number schools that have had as little as ten to twenty to hundreds plus so we've had quite a bit of flu activity in our district". But so far it hasn't worked out that way.

But what happens after you've already gotten over the flu? All 49 states, with the exemption of Hawaii, are reeling from the epidemic. Friday's report covers the week ending January 27. And say that even if the flu vaccine may not prevent all cases and types of the flu, it's the best available defense against the disease. How well it worked won't be known until later this month. Interim reports from Australia indicate it is only 10 percent effective. "But they sort of fixed that so now it seems like we've been doing pretty good with being able to keep it on our shelves, but it has been going pretty quick", Johnson said. Flu vaccines usually protect against three or four viruses, this years shot includes components from H1N1 (strain A), H3N2 (strain A), and B/Victoria lineage (strain B). Laboratory confirmed cases represent only a fraction of actual cases, because most people are not admitted to the hospital with the flu.

People who are sick should avoid being around others as much as possible. "If you think you have the flu, you should stay home to avoid spreading it to others". She sadded that another reason to get the flu shot is that it may be effective in fighting off the symptoms if it's caught early enough. "I'm so happy", said Pace. Germs spread this way. She demonstrates the "magic trick" of sneezing or coughing into the crook of an arm.

Pace said she knows a lot of people touch the carts and she's not messing around when it comes to the flu. "It's great", says Katherine Lockler.

"So guess what? Five flus came in, 15 flus walk out".

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