State officials report first child flu death in North Carolina of this season
13 January, 2018, 07:57
The latest CDC figures show that 36 states have reported widespread flu activity, up from 23 during the week of December 16. It said 49 states reported widespread or regional flu activity.
The Alabama Department of Public Health is putting out a warning that influenza-like activity is on the increase across the state.
The so-called "Aussie flu" - or strain H3N2 - is a mutated strain, meaning it is less effective against vaccination.
"Seasonal influenza activity increased sharply in the U.S.", the CDC said in a report covering the week ending December 23. "Influenza antiviral medications are a second line of defense against influenza but their use this flu season is more important than usual because of the circulating A (H3N2) strain".
Achebe said not everyone who gets the flu is asked whether they were immunized, but a few people who got the shot still got sick.
Flu symptoms include fever, chills, headache, extreme tiredness, dry cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, and sometimes diarrhea and vomiting. People are generally contagious one to two days before symptoms start and five to seven days after symptoms start.
And while the CDC still recommends getting the flu vaccine, the second-best way to prevent illness is by washing hands - a lot, Keller said.
"These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby", the CDC reports.
The health department can bill insurance, but it also can serve those without insurance as well as those who are under-insured, Keller said. These include children, the elderly and others with a weakened immune system due to other illnesses or medications.
Not everyone with flu will have a fever.
Local doctors say it is still not too late to get your flu shot even though the shot is only 10% effective, the shot could make the effects of the flu less sever if you get sick. In Texas, though, people get out more often and have a higher chance of coming into contact with others who may have the flu and can spread the virus. It will take about two weeks to get immunized so patients need to keep that in mind.