Published: Mon, January 15, 2018
Medical | By Garry George

Flu widespread in Ashland County

Flu widespread in Ashland County

CHOA is now under visitor restrictions to protect patients from the cold and flu season, a spokeswoman said. Check with your physician or your county health department.

The H3N2 strain, known as "Australian flu" or "Aussie flu", has been linked to a number of deaths in Ireland.

While flu-related deaths and hospitalizations in OH are mounting, worries about a flu pandemic are unfounded, local health officials said.

So far, there have been no flu-related deaths of children in Nebraska. There have been 3,854 total flu-associated hospitalizations in OH since flu season began in October. You should start recovering from flu in about seven days, but if it lasts longer than it could be a sign of the more serious Aussie flu or the H3N2 subtype.

Across the river, La Crosse County usually logs about 20 flu-related hospitalizations a season, but "this year, we are up quite a bit", said Jo Foellmi, a public health nurse with the La Crosse County Health Department.

It also reported that 1,200 people had tested positive for the flu, a number that experts say is likely much higher.

Influenza is a viral infection that attacks the nose, throat and lungs. It is a minor illness for most people, but for some it can lead to hospitalization and death.

Gabrick said that 93 percent of Winona Health employees are up to date on their vaccinations, compared to 90 percent previous year.

What happened during the 1918 flu pandemic?

Flu widespread in Ashland County
Flu widespread in Ashland County

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), flu activity is now widespread in most of the United States. Pandemics happen when new influenza viruses emerge that are easily spread.

Dr. Fredrick Echols, the director of the department's Communicable Disease Control Services, said the specific cause for the increase in influenza cases is unknown.

Symptoms of the Australian or Aussie flu are identical to symptoms of less severe strains of the flu virus, but are more severe and longer-lasting.

Influenza viruses are constantly changing, with new strains appearing regularly. "We have two walk-in clinics-no appointment needed".

"We think flu season will run for several more weeks", Safranek said. Both of those seasons were seasons where the strain H3N2 was the predominant strain. "Year after year, if you get the vaccine, your body tends to take what it knows and enhance that with each vaccine".

Despite World Health Organization recommendations to use flu vaccination to help protect people in high-risk populations, few developing countries have seasonal flu vaccination programs or the capacity to produce and distribute seasonal or pandemic vaccines.

First, it's still not too late to get a flu shot.

Safranek recommended people seek a doctor and get a prescription for antibiotics if they get the flu.

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