First Pediatric Flu Death reported in OK; Free Flu Shots are available

Medical experts warn about new flu strain emerging

It's only 25 percent effective against the most common strain circulating this year, the H3N2 strain, CDC's Dr. Alicia Fry and colleagues found.

AHS says 242 people were brought to Central Alberta hospitals with lab-confirmed influenza this season; 2,328 people were admitted to hospital provincewide.

Influenza B and influenza A (H3N2) are now the main flu viruses circulating with more influenza B reported.

Note that influenza activity began to increase in early November and rose sharply from December through February, with some of the highest levels of influenza-like illness and hospitalization rates in recent years. One as yet unanswered question is whether those versions of the vaccine were better or worse than vaccine produced in chicken eggs. And it was 42 percent effective against Type B flu viruses. Three hundred and thirteen of those deaths have occurred in Georgia since the start of 2018.

Flannery and colleagues wrote that despite "ongoing challenges" with the H3N2 component since the 2011-2012 season, vaccine efficacy was higher in the USA for this strain than it was in Australia (10%) and Canada (17%).

The findings, published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), come as no surprise to flu experts tracking the worst influenza season in a decade.

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Director of the Division of Public Health Dr. Karyl Rattay says the woman's death is a solemn reminder the flu can kill otherwise healthy people. They discovered that in the young, more immune cells called monocytes were recruited to the lungs, and that the gene expression profiles of these cells had more inflammatory features, causing greater inflammation and more severe lung injury. It's unlikely that there will be a lot of it around next flu season.

"If you're not aware of how the flu is spread, the only way you can get it is through your eyes, your nose or your mouth", she said.

However, if you have flu-like symptoms and are in a high risk group, or are very sick or anxious about your illness, contact your health care provider.

The state health department only tracks pediatric and pregnancy-related flu deaths.

"The biggest problem for me was seeing people come in to visit and not only being exposed to this terrible flu virus, but not taking the correct precautions to get themselves disinfected before going out in the world", Lockler told the Pensacola News Journal.

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