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Published: Wed, January 03, 2018
Medical | By Garry George

Idaho flu-related deaths jump to 13 | Public health officials 'concerned'

Idaho flu-related deaths jump to 13 | Public health officials 'concerned'

"Whether this will be a typical 12-week season or it will be a longer cycle - well, it kind of looks like it's following the usual curve", said Dr. Shelley Gordon, an infectious disease specialist with California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco.

Dr. Michael Dohn, medical director for Public Health - Dayton & Montgomery County, said the severity of local flu cases is tracked in a number of ways.

Faulkner County is among the list of counties that have reported the majority of cases.

Nevertheless, doctors are urging people to get vaccinated, with Public Health England reporting that 1,111 people in England and Wales were struck down with it last week - a 156% jump. "The fact that a number of deaths have now been recorded is particularly worrying". "They're around a bunch of family that they're not usually around".

Overall, he said, it's a virus that tends to thrive during the cold-weather months. She said the flu vaccination is the biggest defense against the illness.

Kendrick said those distinguishing features for him are whether or not a person has body aches and if they feel like they've been "hit by a truck". Symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue and sometimes a cough and sore throat. Antivirals are known to work best when given within 48 hours, but even when taken later than that, these drugs can be helpful to people who become very ill. As of September 2017 there were more than 137,500 reported cases of flu in Australia, according to news.com.au, which was more than double the number of cases from the year before.

H3N2, branded by British media as "Aussie flu", can lead to pneumonia and other potentially fatal complications. In the same period previous year, the number of cases reported was 1,866.

"We want to do everything we can to prevent the transmission of flu and so when I talk to my patients about getting the flu shot, I say, it's the most you can do, so you might as well take advantage of what you can do", he said.

State Sen. Brownie Carson, D-Brunswick, said he's concerned that ME still doesn't have enough public health nurses on hand if a flu epidemic were to break out this season.

But what is it and how different is it to other flu viruses?

The flu shot has been plagued by stories of its ineffectiveness.

People can find a place to get vaccinated at vaccinefinder.org.

Symptoms are similar to standard flu but they are far more severe.

Signs are posted throughout Allina Health's hospitals and clinics that remind patients to wash their hands and cover their cough with boxes of face masks and hand sanitizer at each entrance. "I think it's important to address that when you're evaluating your child prior to going to school - looking at symptoms". "The flu is that bad".

Flu season is well underway across the United States.

'There is not much we can do on a state level, ' said Anton, 'it's an every-year epidemic'.

Generally, the flu season starts in January.

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