Published: Sat, February 03, 2018
Health Care | By Oscar Goodwin

Connections: Why is this year's flu season worse than usual?

Connections: Why is this year's flu season worse than usual?

According to ME health officials, 28 people have died from the flu this season with four deaths in just the last week.

There were fewer than a quarter of the number of current cases at this point of the last flu season.

The percentage of visits to doctors' offices and emergency rooms for flu-like illnesses rose to 7.1% for the week, up from 6.6% a week earlier.

Medical professionals continue to urge everyone to get flu shots, as new outbreaks of the H3N2 virus continue to be reported. The reason that some people opt against getting the vaccine is because they fear the shot will give them the flu, said Rumpf, which is not true.

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Individuals are still encouraged to get this year's flu shot.

Andrew DaSilva, the pharmacy manager for the Medicine Shoppe in Rockville told FOX61 they are filling several prescriptions for Tamiflu every day.

The cost for people 19 and older is $33 for a Fluzone quadrivalent injection and $60 for a Fluzone high-dose injection, which is formulated for people 65 and older. Talk to your doctor if you have any concerns about possible reactions or have had reactions to the flu vaccine before. Germs spread this way.

"Any protection is better than none", said Bennett.

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"The signs and symptoms of flu include fever or feeling feverish/chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headache and fatigue".

She said people have a tendency to believe that if a seasonal flu vaccine is only 20 to 30 per cent effective, then it's not worth getting.

"That means people who were vaccinated should not consider themselves invincible for this season", said lead researcher Dr. Danuta Skowronski, an infectious diseases expert at the BC Centre for Disease Control.

During the week ending January 20, there were 7,779 laboratory-confirmed cases of flu statewide - a 28 percent increase over the week before, according to the New York State Department of Health. The red dots are Influenza A and the green triangles are Influenza B. Patients with influenza B typically experience symptoms of nausea and diarrhea. "I've been here nearly 10 years now - certainly the worst one since I've been here", Dr. Michael Catapano of STAT Health in Cutchogue said this week. It's also very important you isolate yourself from others to prevent the flu from spreading. "So to get new money for universal flu vaccine, I'm probably going to have to shift priorities and take money away from other things". For this season, only around 20 percent of these pediatric deaths had been vaccinated.

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IU Health BMH spokesperson Dawn Fluhler said the hospital follows guidelines from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in making the call when flu season is officially over.

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