Flu shots recommended as season has yet to hit peak

Flu and its symptoms are widespread in Massachusetts. The West is most impacted in terms of laboratory confirmed cases but influenza-like illness activity is greatest in Eastern regions

More than 4,000 people in New Jersey have had the flu this season. Each year flu viruses cause millions of illnesses, hundreds of thousands of hospital stays and thousands or tens of thousands of deaths in the United States.

University spokesperson John Karman said as of January 29, 40 people have tested positive for the flu or flu-like illnesses at U of L campuses.

The majority of the country is still experiencing widespread influenza activity. "Our primary objective during this flu season is to prevent the spread of communicable diseases and remove as many health-related barriers to learning as possible". One person, a child, has died from the flu so far in NY, health department officials said.

Some health problems that are known to make children more vulnerable to flu include asthma, diabetes and disorders of the brain or nervous system. "We see it a lot in the younger population which can be spread person to person, but typically it's not as severe as the flu".

"You may not feel very bad, or say you're recovering from the flu, wait until you're recovered before going grocery shopping before you go back to work because you may get someone who is immunocompromised sick", said Anderson.

An annual vaccine can help prevent the flu and limit its complications.

"A fever, but not everyone has a fever, a cough, body aches, some of those are the main symptoms", Cronley said.

"The Influenza A strain continues to be the most frequently reported this season in SC and nationally", said Dr. Tracy Foo, DHEC immunization medical consultant.

Whether they test positive or not, Anderson said higher patient volume indicates people are taking the risk seriously. "The season still has a ways to go so it's not too late to get your flu vaccine today". Flu sufferers should be free of a fever, without the use of a fever reducer, for at least 24 hours before returning to school or work.

Wash your hands frequently, and cover your cough. "So you have the potential with an airborne respiratory virus to get everybody sick", said Dr. Lawner.

Call your doctor or take your child to the doctor right away if they develop flu symptoms.

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