Five more flu deaths reported in San Diego

Joy Montgomery
February 25, 2017

"Our findings in London of the rapid emergence of genetically drifted influenza A (H3N2) viruses underscore the potential for such strains to spread rapidly in hospital environments among patients and staff", the authors wrote.

The flu, or influenza, is a seasonal respiratory illness that occurs each winter in Wisconsin and throughout the United States.

Across the Palmetto State, there were 8,074, influenza cases reported from February 12 to February 18, according to DHEC's report.

"I was achy and I had the sweats and the chills, but I didn't have a fever, so I didn't think it was the flu", she said.

A total of 49 local influenza deaths have been reported this season compared to 17 at this time a year ago.

Last week, 18.9 percent of tests came back positive.

The Milwaukee Health Department says 225 people have now been hospitalized with flu-related symptoms.

"While most people recover from flu, it can also be a life-threatening illness", said Dr. Tom Safranek, State Epidemiologist for DHHS in a written statement released by the department.

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"We just want people to know that just because it's nice outside, we've had great weather, that we do have widespread flu activity".

The Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services reports another three flu related deaths. People will not have to get out of their vehicles.

A 2016 study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill showed the flu accounted for $5.8 billion in health care and lost productivity costs in 2015.

The Palmetto State is one of 28 in the nation reporting a high activity of influenza-like illnesses, the Center for Disease Control says.

Normally, flu vaccines are about 60 percent effective, according to the CDC. "But that's still better odds than if you don't get a shot at all. The flu vaccine is still available at local retail outlets and through the 'Vaccinations for Health" program which teams up the El Paso Fire Department with the El Paso Health Department. "It appears to be a good match".

Flannery also stressed the importance of seeking treatment if you come down with the flu, explaining "Antivirals shouldn't be withheld pending influenza testing or based on whether you were vaccinated or not".

There's a big dip in flu hospitalizations last week down to 110 from about 220 the week before.

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