"But this season, there is a dominant strain that wasn't super common last season".
Flu season in the United States is usually in the wintertime between September and May.
The virus is spreading state-to-state and, in Georgia, its intensity was ranked 10 on a scale of 1-10.
At the end of 2017, only Mobile District County and the Northeastern District Counties - including Shelby, Clay and Talladega counties - had no significant influenza reported, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health. That's up slightly from 51 hospitalizations during the previous week. The Centers for Disease Control said today that it considers all the flu deaths nationally to be under-reported. The state agency didn't provide specific ages.
Health officials are hopeful that this year's flu season is peaking - much the way it did in 2014-2015 - and that the number of people sickened will soon start to fall.
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NPR reports the main strain of flu this season is H3N2, which tends to affect more people and make them sicker once they have the virus. H3N2 is one of the strains contained in this year's flu vaccine along with two or three others, depending on the vaccine.
Influenza activity rapidly increased in the last few weeks, health officials say, and is considered widespread here. Still, even when the flu vaccine is "less effective", it's a good bet.
Health officials don't now know how effective this season's vaccines.
Countries in the Southern Hemisphere, which have their flu season before Northern Hemisphere countries, experienced poor vaccine effectiveness against H3N2, leading health-care workers to anticipate similar results in Canada. "People typically have a high fever, chills, cough, and body aches", Harris said.
"There's lots of flu in lots of places", he said.
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Flu vaccination can reduce flu illnesses, doctors' visits, and missed work and school due to flu, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations.
Meanwhile bird flu was confirmed in 17 wild birds in Dorset yesterday although the Government said the risk to people's health is "very low".
Regular hand washing, covering coughs and sneezes with the inside of one's elbow, and reducing stress also will protect and limit the effects of seasonal flu. Flu sufferers should be free of a fever, without the use of a fever reducer, for at least 24 hours before returning to school or work.
That last fact has had many people wondering if they should still get a flu shot.
In 2010, researchers published a meta-analysis of all available flu shot studies. And while flu activity may be nearing its peak, Jernigan warned there will still be several weeks of activity, which will likely see more infections caused by influenza B strains.
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It claimed there had been a surge in cases of Japanese flu, and more people fighting the deadly Aussie strain.
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