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Flu Activity Continues To Increase

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Flu hospitalizations in Pueblo spike

But it's pretty close and it's far from over. Health officials warn that the actual number of flu cases is likely to be significantly higher as many individuals with the flu may not seek medical treatment instead attempting to try to ride out the illness with over the counter medications. More than half of those patients have been diagnosed with influenza, Central Health said Friday.

The Iowa Public Health Department says the eight were reported in the past week.

CDC Director Brenda Fitzgerald said the flu is severe and widespread, starting in early October and making its way across the continental United States. "Avoid having unnecessary contact with other people if you or they have symptoms of flu". That same strain is now wreaking havoc on the U.S. Some experts speculate this year's vaccine may only be 10 percent effective against the flu strain.

"We also continue to recommend the flu vaccine".

Though Chen says this year's flu shot is weaker than in years past, but says that shouldn't mean a person doesn't get it.

Health officials hope this year's flu season is peaking and the number of infected people will soon decline. "It's looking a lot like the activity from 2014/2015 and 2012/2013. But this season, there is a dominant strain that wasn't super common last season".

"It is higher this week than last week, which was higher than the week before, so we haven't seen a peak yet", said Dr. Daniel Shin, an infectious disease physician at the hospital.

"Mississippi hospitals, like those across the country, are experiencing a huge influx of patients due to the flu and are taking necessary steps to ensure patients receive appropriate care in the appropriate setting", said Timothy H. Moore, President/CEO of Mississippi Hospital Association. Annually, thousands of people nationwide are hospitalized or die from influenza- associated illness.

Compared to a year ago, ARC is reporting much higher rates of patients seeking flu tests and receiving positive results. The first was 2003/2004.

Kendall says if you're visiting loved ones in care homes this time of year, make sure to wash your hands, and delay your visit if you're sick.

"The simplest way to describe it is that flu is everywhere in the USA right now", Jernigan said. In addition, there are also other strains of influenza that are still to be a major cause of disease. Go get vaccinated today.

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