April 22, 2018

FLU CASES SPIKE: Ivey issues public health emergency

12 January 2018, 03:10 | Winifred Adams

Colchester-East Hants Regional Hospital- Lynn Curwin

Colchester-East Hants Regional Hospital

Mitchell says the hospital first started to see a spike in flu cases last December.

Dallas County health officials say Thursday that three more people have died from the flu, raising the toll for this flu season to 26 deaths in Dallas County.

This comes as health officials continued their pleas for people to get a flu jab stating "it is not too late".

The Department of Health says the majority of the deaths so far have been in people older than 65 with underlying conditions.

"We have a lot of patients that come in with the typical flu symptoms", Pharmacist Jarron Yee said. "The flu can be a deadly illness, and every year thousands of people die from it", said Franklin County Public Health medical director Miller Sullivan. By comparison, that's more than the total number of hospitalizations for the entire flu season in 2015-2016 or 2013-2014. Texas is among 22 states considered to have the highest amount of flu cases in the the end of 2017. While he said the flu itself is no worse, he agreed that more people could be getting it because of a less effective vaccine.

"The number of visits in healthcare systems, physicians' offices, hospitals and urgent care centers over the past week has really exploded", said Ken Mitchell, M.D. During this time, those persons may still spread the virus to others How contagious is the flu?

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Because of the risks this year and new reports showing the effectiveness of antiviral medications if administered quickly, the CDC is strongly recommending that high-risk patients get antiviral drugs within two days of falling ill from the flu.

One in roughly 10,000 children under the age of four have been hospitalized with the flu this season.

Finally in a follow-up on the situation in Arizona, The Arizona Department of Health Services released data Wednesday that shows influenza activity continues to rise statewide. However, only the flu includes symptoms of fatigue, sore throats and muscle or body aches.

Sentara family medicine and internal medicine practices have the vaccines for $75 out of pocket, but individuals without insurance can get the shot for $37.50, according to Sentara spokeswoman Kelsea Smith.

The spread of flu can be reduced if people stay home while sick, cover their coughs or sneezes, wash hands and avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth.

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