Flu season hits hard at Hamilton hospitals

Posted January 06, 2017

Influenza-associated deaths in persons under 65 years old are reportable in California. CDC data show that about half of children hospitalized with flu over the last several years did not have an underlying medical condition.

"This year's flu shot is definitely matching the strains that have been identified so far", said VDH Influenza Surveillance Coordinator Sarah Fenno.

Pregnant women (at any stage in pregnancy), residents of nursing homes and other long-stay institutions, people with regular close contact with poultry, water fowl or pigs, healthcare workers and carers are also advised to get the vaccination.

She said one common factor that stands out is that in Madison and Limestone Counties they are seeing a surge of flu patients who got their flu shot this year.

"Make no mistake: The single best way to protect against the flu is to get a flu vaccine each year", agency officials wrote.

"We are advising people, particularly those in at-risk categories, to get vaccinated".

To date this season, there have been 270 hospitalised flu cases, with 15 cases admitted to Intensive Care Units (ICUs).

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Barron says it is not too late to get a flu vaccine, but it takes about two weeks to be fully effective.

Peter Hospital officials say it's seeing four times more patients with flu-like symptoms than it usually does.

Most people experience a mild illness, but it can develop into a severe infection that results in hospitalization and death. To make matters worse, it's also notoriously hard for vaccine makers to produce a shot that offers a high level of protection against H3N2.

For those with insurance, vaccine is available and we bill Medicare, Medicaid, and most major insurance companies. Flu-like symptoms include a fever of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, cough, and/or sore throat. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth until you have washed your hands. The flu virus that time was H3N2, and vaccine effectiveness rate was at an all time low.

The health department provides the flu shot without meeting any requirements.

Dr. Anne Furey Schultz examines Alice Corcoran, who was experiencing flu-like symptoms, at Northwestern Memorial Hospital on January 10, 2013 in Chicago City. He said it is possible, but only for a short while and that the use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers is an excellent way to prevent transmission and provides sterilization for up to two hours.