Oklahoma's fatal flu season continues with 129 deaths reported statewide

Oklahoma's fatal flu season continues with 129 deaths reported statewide

The U.S. child death count from influenza was at 53 as of February 2, and hospitalization rates were at the highest in almost a decade. Berks County has recorded 1,565 cases so far.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported widespread flu cases in every state except Hawaii.

The Marion County Public Health Department says the percentage of visits to Marion County emergency departments for flu-like illness during the week of January 29-Feb.

Symptoms of influenza include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. The Public Health Agency notes the majority of influenza cases continue to be caused by the H3N2 strain. We can't say if we've reached the peak.

In the Chicagoland area, three districts have been affected by overwhelming reports of the flu.

The overwhelming majority of people going to the hospital for the flu are in the Twin Cities metro region, but southeast Minnesota has the third highest total of hospitalizations with a total of 224.

Vann said that each year's strain hits different age groups harder than others, and this year people from the ages 25-49 are being more heavily affected. The ages of deaths range from 1 to 101.

Children under 5 are among those most at risk for complications from the flu, in part because their immune systems aren't as adept at fighting it off, Haselow said. The current flu vaccinations are not guaranteed to protect against H3N2, but both Chai and Camarena still recommend that everyone get vaccinated.

"There's some talk of the vaccine being less effective this year". Intradermal vaccines are injected into the skin, while intramuscular vaccines are inserted into the muscle, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. "This may be because the most common influenza virus reported there this year is influenza A; it tends to lead to higher case counts and larger outbreaks".

A vaccine information statement from the CDC reports, "There are many flu viruses and they are always changing". These steps will help prevent respiratory viruses, including influenza, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and rhinovirus.

No other details were disclosed Wednesday by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly for at least 20 seconds.



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