Eight more flu-related deaths reported in Iowa this week

15 January, 2018, 00:33 | Author: Clint Gray
  • A patient recovers from the flu at the Palomar Medical Center in Escondido Calif.									Gregory Bull  AP

The average age of the other 34 people who have died of the flu this season is 75 years old, cabinet officials said.

Hospitals in the Carolinas HealthCare System and in the Triad area have announced safeguards created to prevent the spread of the flu, including are telling children 12 years old and younger not to visit patients.

Healthcare providers are required to report cases of the flu in patients hospitalized in the intensive care unit or deaths associated with the flu among people younger than 65.

- This year's flu season is a brutal one and now more than a dozen hospitals are taking steps to protect patients. You might still get the flu if you've been immunized - but you're still getting some benefit, Pedersen said.

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During this flu season there have already been 130 confirmed influenza cases in the Helena area, according to Lewis and Clark Public Health.

Texas has ranked number one with the most flu activity nationwide. It takes about two weeks for the vaccine to be fully effective. Almost 6,500 people have been hospitalized since the season started in October. "Even otherwise-healthy people can become very sick from flu, and we still have a lot of flu season left".

Dan Jernigan, the director of the Influenza Division of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said the season is "very active", and there are early indicators it may be severe.

The majority of cases continue to be the H3N2 subtype of Influenza A, a particularly brutal strain that tends to cause more severe illness, especially among the elderly and children.

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You also DON'T need to visit anyone in the hospital if you have a runny nose - cough - sore throat or fever.

Basic measures such as washing hands frequently, staying home when sick, and coughing into sleeves or tissues can help stem the flu from spreading further.

Doctors at Bluestem Health clinic in Lincoln haven't seen much influenza yet, but they are on high alert.

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