Flu season starting to pick up, CDC reports

Flu season starting to pick up, CDC reports

Flu season starting to pick up, CDC reports

The Arkansas Department of Heath says four people have died as a result of the flu since its last report more than two weeks ago.

Thankfully, health officials say there haven't been any pediatric deaths from the flu in Pennsylvania so far this season.

Flu activity is on the rise this season in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as the number of states reporting higher levels of influenza-like illness (ILI) jumped from two to nine.

The State Department of Health says the flu is officially "widespread" across the Commonwealth.

It's not too late to get your flu shot. "Past year it was 17 weeks which was really very long". The dominant strain circulating past year, H3N2, was especially hard to stop.

While nearly half of the US population gets a flu vaccination annually, the CDC says the impact of influenza remains high. Overall, approximately 882 cases have been confirmed in Louisville Metro this flu season, which is up from just 179 cases confirmed at the same time in the previous flu season.

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H1N1, or Swine Flu has returned to the headlines after 26-year-old Fox News commentator Bre Payton died suddenly. By that season's end, the state logged more than 6,400 hospitalizations, along with 435 deaths. She adds that many times the season peaks around January and February, so it is not too late to get the flu shot.

This is true for the Polk County Health Department which provides vaccinations at their walk-in clinic throughout the flu season.

The flu vaccine only protects you from specific influenza A and B strains. Both of them were over 65 years old.

Also, 66 of 67 counties have confirmed cases of the flu.

Getting vaccinated won't guarantee that you won't come down with flu, but if you do, your illness will be milder, health experts say.

Mission Health team members and visitors can help prevent the spread of influenza by practicing frequent hand hygiene, staying home if they are sick and getting an annual influenza vaccine.

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