Flu shots must be taken says CDC fearing the worst flu season

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The health department also reported the flu is considered widespread across the state, and three flu outbreaks have occurred this season at long-term care facilities. The pediatric deaths follow the department's report earlier this week that two adult flu-related adult deaths in people over 65 years have been reported in Douglas County.

It's flu season and the Humboldt County Public Health Clinic wants to remind you to get your flu shot.

"In Canada we've had several back-to-back seasons of moderate to severe epidemics for the past few years", she said.

The health department reported 22 people died through the week of January 4 from influenza-associated illnesses, an increase of 13 over the previous week.

Across the state, flu cases are up sharply when compared to the same time period in recent years. "Going into this season we were anticipating that maybe we were off the hook a little bit this year with maybe a milder season and that is what seems to be panning out".

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Winton, an infectious disease physician at Bozeman Health Deaconess Hospital, says a change in which flu virus strain is out there could be behind peaking numbers.

In its latest influenza surveillance report, the B.C. Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) says the number of people with the flu increased sharply over the holidays, but it hasn't resulted in a crush of patients heading to emergency rooms.

Seniors, pregnant women and children under age 2 are considered at high risk for the flu, according to health experts.

The best defense is washing your hands frequently and avoiding people who have the flu. The agency now recommends that some children aged 6 months to 8 years receive two doses of the vaccine, spaced at least four weeks apart.

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