Boy dies from flu as OH hospitals report increase in cases

Boy dies from flu as OH hospitals report increase in cases

Boy dies from flu as OH hospitals report increase in cases

Sedgwick County Health Director Adrienne Byrne tells KNSS News, "We encourage people to get their flu shots in August and September, and flu season can go through as long as April; and so it's important to still get in and get a flu shot because we haven't had our peak yet, and flu activity is picking up all over the United States, Kansas, and Sedgwick County".

It's the first flu death reported by the state since flu season started in October.

"No vaccine is 100 percent effective", said Carolyn Kaltenberg, a nurse and immunization program manager with Grand Forks Public Health.

Up until December 30, 2017, there were 11,275 laboratory-confirmed cases across the country, 74 per cent of which are attributed to influenza A. There have been a total of 1,050 influenza-related hospitalizations and 34 deaths across the country.

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The department says it can take up to two weeks to build full immunity to influenza following a vaccination, so people should get flu shots immediately. H3N2-predominant flu seasons have been associated with more severe illness, especially among children and adults age 65 and older. Public Health says it's not too late to get vaccinated, flu season lasts until the end of spring.

Dr. Michael de Lota, family medicine physician at ARC Kyle Plum Creek, said he believed the spike in cases stems from fewer people getting the flu vaccine. Earlier reports had said Australia's flu vaccine was only 10 percent effective, but that doesn't mean USA vaccines rated the same.

Schneider said the key to surviving the flu season without getting ill is to wash hands often, get the flu vaccine and exercise isolation from the public when you are sick with the flu.

"No parent should ever have to suffer the loss of a child to the flu".

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Symptoms of flu can include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue.

The Ohio Department of Health said influenza A, or H3N2, is the most common virus this season.

CDC recommends that healthcare providers prescribe one of two antiviral drugs as a second line of defense as soon as possible to patients with confirmed or suspected influenza who are hospitalized, have severe illness, or may be at higher risk for flu complications. "And if they do get sick, try to reach their health district for antiviral medication".

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