Volume of flu cases increasing

Joy Montgomery
January 31, 2018

"Our primary objective during this flu season is to prevent the spread of communicable diseases and remove as many health-related barriers to learning as possible".

Pinkeye (conjunctivitis) is another symptom that can result from an adenovirus infection, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The H3N2 strain has been the most prevalent during the 2018-19 flu season, and tends to cause worse-than-usual body aches along with symptoms such as coughing, fever/chills, sore throat and headache. As such, the United States is seeing its highest levels of flu activity since the 2009 flu season, when a novel H1N1 virus brought the proportion of outpatient visits for ILI to 7.7%. Most of the cases have been the nationally prevalent influenza A/H3N2 strain.

Flu is different from a cold, and usually comes on suddenly.

So far, 30 children have died nationwide this season.

The increase in the total number of new confirmed laboratory cases statewide for the week ending January 26 from the week of January 19 was 226. Antiviral drugs work best for treatment when they are started within two days of getting sick.

One person with influenza can shut down schools, offices and businesses.

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Hutchinson added that the rate at this point in the season is Arkansas' second-highest in 17 years.

If you experience flu-like symptoms, stay home 24-48 hours after symptoms resolve, unless you are seeking medical care.

"In Wilkes, more and more patients are testing "flu positive" and the severity of symptoms has increased".

Laboratory confirmed cases reported to the state's health department are most useful in reflecting the types of circulating virus and where they circulate. According to the CDC, the flu has now reached epidemic status and could drag on into April and early May since a person can get the flu a few times.

"Baby boomers have higher rates [of hospitalization] than their grandchildren right now", CDC flu director Dan Jernigan told reporters on a call Friday. There is no cure, but there are anti-viral medications.

Flu is widespread in Georgia, and more than 670 individuals have been hospitalized with flu-related illness in the eight-county metro Atlanta area. Frightening to think that on the 100-year anniversary of the 1918 "Spanish Flu/Great Influenza" pandemic, a particularly virulent strain of the virus killed an estimated 675,000 people in the USA or about the same number killed in the Civil War.

MA rate of vaccination - slightly more than 50 percent - is higher than that of many states.

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