Marion County hospitals to temporarily restrict visitors due to high flu activity

Randy Kelley
January 11, 2019

The New Jersey Department of Health is confirming the state's first pediatric flu death of the season.

- Health officials are urging people to get the flu shot after a 3-year-old girl died of influenza in suburban Chicago.

Hastings Prince Edward health unit manager of communicable diseases Bill Sherlock says, of the 24 cases reported in Quinte, only three were children.

The vaccine won't prevent 100 percent of flu cases, but it can significantly decrease your chances of getting the flu-by as much as 30, 40, 50 percent or more.

The symptoms of flu can include fever or feeling feverish/chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches and fatigue (tiredness). School absenteeism because of the flu is reported weekly. The B.C. Centre for Disease Control has noted the main kind of flu found this year is included in this year's vaccine, meaning people will be better protected if they are vaccinated. The culprit for this year seems to be the H1N1 virus.

Health department officials say residents in Tulsa, Oklahoma and Cleveland counties are dealing with the highest number of hospitalizations related to the flu.

However, this year's flu vaccine is a good match for circulating strains and the vaccine is the best way to protect yourself from getting the flu. Because older people have a diminished immune response, the high dose trivalent vaccine is recommended for those 65 or older, and for those with chronic health conditions who may have less immunity.

The Marion County Public Health Department offers low-priced flu vaccine at its district health offices. She said one of the common reasons she hears is because people believe the flu shot can give them the flu. "If you have not been vaccinated yet this season, you can still get your flu shot now".

Other tests called rapid molecular assays can also take 15 to 20 minutes to complete and they detect the actual genetic material of the flu virus, according to the CDC.

Vaccination is especially important for people who are at high risk of developing serious complications from influenza.

"For children under the age of 2, parents should contact their primary pediatrician".

The Authority said it continues to be on heightened alert and surveillance for swine flu cases and has coordinated all its facilities to be fully prepared for any further presence of the disease in the South-West region. The flu shot will be free, but you may have to pay copayments or cost-shares for the office visit.

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