Flu deaths rise to seven in North Carolina

A nurse administers a flu shot to an inmate at the Placer County Jail in this 2014

The winter flu season is trending similar to two years ago, in 2014-15, when Lee experienced a pretty bad flu season, said Jennifer Roth, an epidemiologist with the Florida Department of Health in Lee.

Almost 1,000 influenza cases have been reported in Pima County so far this season through December 30 - 10 times more than the number of cases reported through December 31 past year. "It's not as robust as a younger person", said Dr. Polly Baldwin, Medical Director for the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department. Marten said. "Patients experiencing acute symptoms should seek treatment at the nearest emergency department".

"We typically peak in the end of February in Lee while the rest of the country peaks earlier", Roth said.

According to the CDC, 36 states including IL are already seeing widespread influenza activity - and public health experts are concerned this year's flu vaccine could be less effective than usual.

If sick, Perreault, DeMaria and the federal Centers for Disease Control urge people to stay home from work, social functions and other gathering places to avoid spreading the flu, common cold and other viral illnesses.

The most dominant flu virus this season is called H3N2, and it's been widely reported the seasonal flu vaccine offers little protection against it.

Wondering if you should get the flu vaccine if you already are moderately sick?

In Riverside County, the flu is not quite as widespread.

"Even 10 percent effective is better than nothing, and a lot of it has to do with herd immunity - the more people are protected from it, the more other people will also be protected", Sabetti added to CBS This Morning.

As flu is a virus, there is no cure; you can only alleviate the effects by getting plenty of sleep and fluids, and taking Ibuprofen to lower your temperature and relieve aches and pain. "It takes a couple of weeks for the immunity to develop from that shot".

The most important thing to remember for local residents, particularly if you are in a high-risk group such as aging adults or pregnant women, is that it's not too late to get a flu shot, health officials stressed.

The CDC recommends injectable flu shots and not the nasal spray vaccine because of concerns about its effectiveness, according to the health department.



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