1st flu-related child death reported in New Jersey

The flu vaccine is drawn from the vile into the needle at Crawford Kids Clinic in Aurora Colorado

While H1N1 was the dominant flu strain last season, this one has already been far worse. And the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported the national influenza positivity rate at 13.7 percent for the last week of 2018, while Washington reported 7.1 percent for the same week.

"As long as flu viruses are circulating, it is not too late to get vaccinated, even in January or later", the CDC says on its website.

Traditionally, the H1N1 component is better at halting the spread of that strain of the virus, compared to H3N2, which has a greater propensity to genetically mutate, often in the manufacturing process.

Just last week, the Indiana Department of Public Health said flu activity is now "high" and "widespread" across the state. While Mema says it's close to being the peak of the flu season, it can stick around well into March.

With illness spreading and months of flu season left to go, experts still recommend getting a flu shot. "In the last week or so we've started to see increases, similar to what we're seeing nationally".

ME and New Hampshire were the only New England states with lower levels of flu activity through the end of December, the latest federal comparison data available, while most of the South already had been hit hard by the flu.

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"We are seeing numbers rise in our region", said Dr. Irfan Hafiz, an infectious disease specialist who serves as chief medical officer of the northwest region of Northwestern Medicine.

Officials urge residents to get flu shots and stay home if sick.

A spokesperson for the HSE said that the best way to protect yourself is to get the flu vaccine.

Note to readers: This is a corrected story.

Officials did not release the child's age, gender and hometown. It also misstated the percentage of children that make up B.C.'s population.

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