Health officials say in recent weeks H3N2 has been the predominant strain. San Diego County has reported 45 deaths from seasonal flu outbreaks resulting in more than 3,300 cases last week. However, she said frigid temperatures could lead people to gather together inside more, thus increasing the spread of the virus.
"Down Under, the flu season was more severe than previously so the NHS is bracing itself".
"When the flu is widespread, if it looks like the flu, it probably is the flu", Dr. Michael Kilkenny with the Cabel-Huntington Health Department said.
Other area hospitals are also keeping an eye on the number of flu cases being treated.
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Because of the severity of this flu season, Dominican Hospital in Santa Cruz is restricting visitors to only those over the age of 15, with only one visitor per patient. Influenza B has hit other countries in Asia and Europe as well this season, and global research centers and the World Health Organization are fully aware of this unusual outbreak, but the cause of its spread is still unknown. "Typically, if we get up around, you know, and this would be late February, around 5.5 or 6% that's about the worst I've ever seen it", said Dr.
"We are monitoring the influenza outbreak in the area as well as consulting with our infection prevention specialist internally to determine the best course of action", Bernie Albertini, chief administrative officer of East Ohio Regional Hospital in Martins Ferry, said.
"We're about two weeks ahead of where we were previous year", she said.
"They're seeing that it's anywhere from 10 to 33 percent effective, so anytime there's a mismatch between the vaccine and the circulating strain of the flu, you're going to see more cases".
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Due to a report out of Australia, some news agencies are saying that this season's flu vaccine is only 10 percent effective.
The flu got off to an early start this season and has been on a vicious tear throughout the Bay Area and California.
Should you still get the flu shot in January?Dallas County health officials say the flu season is only expected to get worse as kids go back to school. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for the body to develop protective antibodies against it.
Stay home from work if you are sick and cover your mouth when you cough with your sleeve or a tissue.
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Vaishampayan has not conceded that this year's flu vaccine is ineffective. The vaccine also is available at many commercial pharmacies, including at CVS, Walgreens and Walmart; and grocery stores such as Publix and Winn Dixie.