Flu cases on rise, with outbreaks at eight care facilities

Flu spreads quickly across California

Health providers say they are experiencing some of the busiest emergency departments they've seen in a long time - something they attribute to an early flu season, a less-effective vaccine and poor local air quality that exacerbates symptoms. "Obviously that doesn't capture all of the people with the flu, but when we see the tests increase we assume there's an overall uptick in the community", Morin said Thursday.

The number of flu cases in OR rose sharply at the end of December, but it's still too soon to tell when the season will peak.

It is understood that since Aussie Flu first appeared in Ireland it has led to more than 70 hospitalisations this winter, with nearly 20 of those in the last week of December alone.

Health officials say that essentially everyone over 6 months of age should receive the flu vaccine.

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The Indiana State Department of Health on Friday released its weekly influenza report for the period ending December 30.

The Iowa Department of Public Health released new numbers Friday morning, bringing the total number of Iowans who have died from the flu since October of 2017 to six. Researchers say it's the result of a mutation in the strain as the vaccine was being developed, making it anywhere from 15 to 30 percent effective against the strain.

"Last year we saw the peak in February", said Melaney Arnold, spokeswoman for the health department.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the predominant strain of flu circulating is influenza A H3N2.

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Officials at the hospital are asking anyone who is not feeling well, particularly with flu-like symptoms, to not visit patients during this outbreak.

Morin said she also wants people who get the flu that have any immune system problems or other chronic medical conditions or are pregnant, to call their health care provider right away.

"We are facing some serious shortages", Srivastava said. In Riverside County, for example, there were 3,415 ambulance transports related to the flu, a spike of 31 percent above the average, local TV station ABC7 reported.

In addition to taking the flu vaccine, people can ward off the virus by practicing basic hygiene habits like washing hands frequently, avoiding contact with sick people, avoiding touching the eyes, nose and mouth and keeping surfaces disinfected.

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Is it too late to get a flu shot?

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