Severe flu season affects 46 states in US

Flu outbreak brings overcrowded hospitals and medicine shortages as death toll in California rises to 27

Health officials prepare for spike in flu-related deaths

Despite what you have been told, the cold weather is not the reason for catching the flu, though it is a symptom.

Pharmacies have also sold out of the medication prescribed by doctors to treat the flu due to increased demand. Last season's vaccine was only 32 percent effective against H3N2.

The good news, according to health experts, is that it's not too late to reduce your risk by getting a flu shot. That's also the most common type Iowa is seeing, with 62 cases of A (H3), 11 influenza B and one influenza A (H1N1), according to the IDPH.

"The "Aussie flu", H3N2, is the same strain that was circulating a year ago and is not unusual", she added.

But most people with the flu will recover without any complications.

If you are sick with flu symptoms, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone.

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The prominent strain in Australia's flu season was the H3N2 form of influenza A. That strain is what doctors are seeing in this country as well.

Martin encouraged anyone showing symptoms of the respiratory flu should visit their primary care provider or a walk-in clinic.

On another front, this year the Human Vaccines Project, a New York-based non-profit consortium of academic, government and industry medical researchers, is launching the Universal Influenza Vaccine Initiative (UIVI).

Remember, after the vaccine, your body can take up to two weeks to build up defenses against the flu virus.

Wash your hands, and let's get through this together. "It is not going to give you the flu".

These anti-viral agents work only when given within 48 hours of the onset of flu symptoms. And you need to deal with it.

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There seems to be a lot of flu around, is it an epidemic? That number was up considerably from the week before when they reported 36 states. Influenza is considered at epidemic level when the number of deaths from flu surpasses a threshold set by the CDC.

The California death toll is rapidly growing as this season's massive flu outbreak has left hospitals across the United States overcrowded and pharmacies running out of medication to treat the virus. As a result, flu season usually strikes later than in other regions.

Over the weekend the Brecon Beacans and Telford both reported cases of Aussie flu, leaving just the Dorset town and the City clear of the deadly virus.

"Even though it is less effective than previous years it still has an efficacy level of 10 per cent for influenza A and we do have other strains circulating so within our vaccines three or four strains are covered so you can be covered for other strains of the flu as well", Said Dr. Waters.

Elderly residents, especially those with other health conditions, can be especially vulnerable during flu season, as can pregnant women, young children, people with chronic illnesses and individuals whose immune systems are compromised.

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