Health Care

Experts concerned as flu-related deaths continue to rise in Arkansas

Lake County reports 7 flu-related deaths this season

A flu-season graph on the state Department of Health website depicting week-to-week numbers of new cases in Pennsylvania rises like a cliff.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment reports that the influenza has directly caused 65 deaths in Kansas. CDC officials said the flu season looks worse in some ways than the last severe outbreak, in 2014-2015.

The dominant H3N2 strain, dubbed the "Aussie flu", has been wreaking havoc this year and the flu vaccine is only 34 percent effective against this particular strain.

Meantime, he said, hand-washing is the best thing people can do to prevent catching or spreading the flu. The flu can lead to complications like pneumonia, dehydration and worsening of chronic medical conditions.

Flu is "widespread" in Pennsylvania overall and in this area specifically, according to the department - which places the statewide situation on the most dire level in its website model.

Pediatric flu concerns: why is the flu killing kids?

The latest report from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) shows the number of hospitalizations continues to climb, topping the previous high, set two years ago.

"People don't understand what a killer flu really is and tend to be lackadaisical about getting vaccinated".

The KDHE monitors flu season from September 1 through May 31.

She said for the third week of January, there were four cases of children hospitalized for the flu, which isn't an unusual number. However, Fort Bend is offering no-cost flu shots this week at the annexes in Rosenberg and Missouri City.

"And so they start to recover and then get sicker and the death doesn't happen until weeks after their first flu illness". The usual symptoms include fatigue, headaches, muscle pains, sore throat, fever and the occasional runny nose. They should avoid close contact with well people in the household, and stay well-hydrated by drinking plenty of water and other clear liquids.

Some good news: Illnesses seem to be easing a bit on the West Coast.

"We have 26 [percent] of the student population out today with more sick children going home as the day has progressed", Holy Angels Catholic School posted on Facebook.