CDC: Flu Now a Coast-to-Coast Epidemic with Weeks to Go

Tennessee Department Of Health Flu Update

They mutate and change, and some strains may dominant over others.

CHOA is now under visitor restrictions to protect patients from the cold and flu season, a spokeswoman said.

The virus is spreading state-to-state and, in Georgia, its intensity was ranked 10 on a scale of 1-10.

A total of 48 influenza associated deaths were also reported in total that year. That's up slightly from 51 hospitalizations during the previous week.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday released its latest flu report, and MS is one of 22 states with an increase in the number of reported flu cases. It has even been shown to be effective in preventing death in children from flu-related causes. The state agency didn't provide specific ages.

Seventeen flu-related deaths is drastically higher compared to past year at this time when Manitoba health reported one death. Although researchers were able to predict ahead of time the strain of this year's season, the chicken eggs in which vaccines are created can pick up mutations that look a little different than the H3N2 affecting humans - making the vaccine less effective.

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But while no one disputes this is a bad year for flu, Jernigan said it's too early to tell if this flu season is more severe than recent seasons, including the 2014-15 season.

"Every year a new recipe is created for the flu vaccine and it is based on the most common strain of flu from last year". It was back last winter but the vaccine was a better fit. Dr. Eugenia Bacani, with Memorial Hermann Medical Group, has been a physician for 30 years.

Health officials say it takes about two weeks following the administration of the vaccine for the recipient to develop protection.

Influenza symptoms include fever or feeling feverish, a cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, chills and fatigue.

"Flu is widespread and elevated in LA County", said Dr. Sharon Balter, director of Acute Communicable Disease Control. "Even if the vaccine does not prevent you from getting the flu, it will make it less likely for you to become seriously ill or require hospitalization".

"We're all very concerned in public health that it may be a severe year", said Randi Pedersen, an epidemiologist who monitors flu in Idaho. People suffering with flu-like symptoms should catch coughs or sneezes in tissues and bin them immediately, wash their hands regularly with soap and warm water and frequently clean regularly used surfaces to stop the spread of flu. Also, don't go to work, and don't have your children go to school, when sick. If you think you have the flu, call or visit your doctor. The CDC advises to still get the shot. You might still get the flu if you've been immunized - but you're still getting some benefit, Pedersen said. Additionally, she said this strain, H3N2, seems to be more virulent, meaning it's more contagious than other strains we've seen recently. Vaccines don't work as well against it in general because it tends to mutate more than other strains.

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