The Commissioner of Public Health warned that there have been 15 flu-related deaths of people 65 and older this season, with that same age group making up the majority of the more than 450 flu hospitalizations.
On January 2, 2018, Dallas County health officials reported a sixth death from the flu.
"We're all very concerned in public health that it may be a severe year", said Randi Pedersen, an epidemiologist who monitors flu in Idaho. Young children, adults 65 years and older, pregnant women, and people with chronic medical conditions have a higher risk for complications.
"Avoid having unnecessary contact with other people if you or they have symptoms of flu". To protect the family's privacy, the department can only confirm that the death occurred downstate.
"The season started early and it is probably peaking right now", he said, but cautioned that there are still 11 to 13 more weeks of flu to come. Widespread is the highest level of flu activity, which indicates increased flu-like activity or flu outbreaks in at least half of the regions in the state.
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Flu cases have spread to 46 states with a sharp increase during the last week of December, according to the most recent statistics available from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Harris said hospitals can enforce an altered standard of care because of the extra patients. The last time the flu was this severe was three years ago. So far they're not shooting up quite like they did in 2014-2015, but health officials are watching the numbers closely. There are ample supplies throughout Kentucky.
Chief Medical Officer Sally Davies has advised NHS staff to make sure they are vaccinated against flu, warning: "Flu can kill and it is important we all take it seriously". Many health plans cover the cost of the vaccine with no copay.
FOX 5 called several pharmacies in the metro Atlanta Friday, all of which said they were running low on the drugs. There have already been 49 outbreaks reported this season. "I was really weak", said Margaret Shafer, who went to a Seattle emergency room this week after a bout with the flu was followed by pneumonia.
Experts urge everyone 6 months of age and older get the flu shot, as it helps reduce the chance of illness from the flu and can also lessen the severity of the symptoms if you do get sick. One may contract the flu when an infected person coughs or sneezes nearby; or by touching a surface contaminated with bodily fluids from an infected person, and then touching his or her eyes, nose or mouth. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.