Flu activity hits Central New York harder than rest of state


Data from Health Protection Scotland shows that the number of people suffering from flu in Scotland has more than doubled compared to the same time a year ago.

A map of the United Kingdom shows the worst hit areas by flu as figures reveal the number of sufferers has more than doubled compared to the same period previous year.

According to Health Canada, influenza (the flu) is among the leading causes of death in Canada, causing more than 12,000 hospitalizations and 3,500 deaths annually.

"This year has turned out to be highest flu activity in the last four years, and we haven't even hit the peak yet", said Dr. Steven Lawrence, an infectious disease specialist at Barnes-Jewish Hospital.

The flu vaccine has not been effective this year against the most serious strains of flu, local health care providers agreed.

"Generally speaking, two or three flu viruses are always circulated at any one time and the HSE attempts, with the vaccine, to target these". Those who were vaccinated and still get the flu are "less likely to have the complications of pneumonia, having to be hospitalized and dying", he said. "All I know is when I call the hospitals and ask what they are seeing, they are seeing a major uptick".

Across England, 4.5million people are said to have complained of flu-like symptoms. They may include a high temperature of 38⁰C or above, tiredness and weakness, a headache, general aches and pains and a dry, chesty cough. And the most common strain of flu this year is one associated with more severe symptoms, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Is it too late to get a flu shot? An immunized person may still get sick, but there's a chance it won't be as serious.

Usually, a flu fever will last three to five days.

Last season, vaccine effectiveness against circulating influenza A (H3N2) viruses was estimated to be 32% in the U.S. CDC expects that VE could be similar this season, should the same A (H3N2) viruses continue to predominate.

If you believe you are coming down with the flu, the CDC recommends you follow these simple steps.

The youngest flu victim was a one-year-old boy said to be from central San Diego. Keep children home from school when they are ill.

The average age of those who have died this year has been 82 with an even gender split. Antiviral drugs are different from antibiotics, which fight onlybacterial infections.

"Time spent gathering together over Christmas, followed by recent weather fluctuations that have kept people indoors has given the flu virus its chance to easily spread", said Dr. Scott Brady, senior medical director and CEO of Centra Care, in a news release. If you're lucky, you may have mild symptoms like a cough and a runny nose.

Doctors said there is no cure for the flu, that they are soley treating symptoms.



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