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Heath District offering free flu vaccines

06 February 2018

MEA has been flooded with patients, now doses of flu vaccine is running low for those under 65 years of age and those over 65 get a more potent vaccination.

"The first is that flu activity became widespread within nearly all states and jurisdictions at the same time". Dr. Hilda Roque-Dieguez said, "This year I already have two patients in the hospital with the Influenza A, actually".

Since 2010, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates there have been between 9.2 and 60.8 million flu cases each year, according to USA TODAY. The report is from data as of one week ago, the 10th week of this flu season.

Heath District offering free flu vaccines

The CDC is battling a particularly terrible flu season, driven in large part by a H3N2 strain that's been resistant to this year's vaccine.

Across the country, many hospitals and health departments are providing free vaccines due to the high numbers of ILI in their emergency departments and hospital admissions. You'd have to do the studies that say when did that individual get vaccinated with what type of vaccine.

The local flu watch activity level is set at Level 3, localized with at least one ongoing laboratory-confirmed influenza outbreak in an institution.

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"That's really going to help to prevent the spread of influenza and other respiratory diseases that are circulating right now", Martin said.

The most frequent flu virus reported by public health laboratories was the influenza H3N2, a risky strain of flu that is resistant to flu vaccine. There were 76 deaths recorded in Kentucky last flu season. Usually, the more severe influenza A strain peaks in December and January and influenza B, which is often less severe, peaks in the spring.

In other parts of the province, this year's influenza is proving to be particularly brutal. By the end of the 2009 flu season, 148 pediatric cases had the same outcome.

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The flu is most unsafe for older adults age 65 and over, young children under the age of 5, and people with compromised immune systems. See your doctor if your flu symptoms improve but then fever returns and your cough worsens, or if you experience difficulty breathing, pain in the chest or abdomen, and severe or persistent vomiting. Colds are generally milder than the flu.

Beyond H3N2, the H1N1 and "influenza B" strains are taking a toll.

The London-region is not alone. Guam and OR reported regional flu activity; Washington, D.C., and Hawaii reported local influenza; and the U.S. Virgin Islands reported sporadic activity for the week.

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"People at high risk for complications of flu should contact their health care provider as soon as they develop flu-like symptoms", Rodriguez said.

Heath District offering free flu vaccines