Flu Cases Increasing In Our Area

Randy Kelley
January 5, 2019

Officials say that as of December 22, there were 461 laboratory-confirmed flu cases in DE, more than double the 225 laboratory-confirmed cases reported at this time a year ago. And activity is "starting to increase" in this season, Schultz said. "But it's odd that in the Southeast, the H3N2 virus is more common".

"I have four kids, and I'm always concerned one kid is going to be the outbreak monkey and bring the flu into the house", added Canter.

"This death is an unfortunate reminder the flu virus does have the potential to cause severe illness and death, especially in the very young, very old, or those who have underlying health conditions", said Medical Director Dr. Caitlin Pedati.

Hospitals were setting up tents and triage units in parking lots, as the more aggressive strain took hold across the country.

The flu vaccine is a combination vaccine against two strains of influenza A and one strain of influenza B. They are still encouraging people to get their flu shots. But the good news is that H1N1 has been included in this year's annual flu vaccine. Still, most Albertans don't get vaccinated.

Also, 66 of 67 counties have confirmed cases of the flu. "For it to just take her life, nothing prepares you for how fast it moves", said Allison's mother Crystal White Shield.

At-risk groups include people aged 65 and over, pregnant women and those with chronic illnesses.

Getting vaccinated won't guarantee that you won't come down with flu, but if you do, your illness will be milder, health experts say.

She lost her 6-year-old daughter, Allison Eaglespeaker, to flu on December 1.

Mission Health team members and visitors can help prevent the spread of influenza by practicing frequent hand hygiene, staying home if they are sick and getting an annual influenza vaccine.

Dr Wong Ka-hing, controller of the Centre for Health Protection, said earlier that 960,000 doses of seasonal flu vaccine had been administered by December 23, a more than 50 per cent increase compared with the same period past year.

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