Widespread Flu Hits Earlier This Season

California has reported 27 deaths so far this flu-season and hospitals have begun turning patients away due to overcrowded emergency rooms

California has reported 27 deaths so far this flu-season and hospitals have begun turning patients away due to overcrowded emergency rooms

Twelve of the people who died were over 65. And among the 54 jurisdictions in the flu surveillance system (every state plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands), 50 reported "regional" or "widespread" flu activity at the end of a year ago. The state's warmer temperatures typically mean people are less confined indoors during the winter months. Only injectable flu shots are recommended for use again this season.

Experts say there are different reasons why this year is so bad. Randy Bergen, a pediatrician who is leading Kaiser Permanente-Northern California's anti-flu effort.

The Illinois Department of Public Health's Influenza Surveillance Update reported that the flu is widespread.

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. So far, 13 US kids have died from flu, Brammer said. The vaccine takes about two weeks to be fully effective. Other parts of the world may be as low as 10 percent, such as in Australia. Although, if you refer to the CDC, it's about 40 percent effective this given year. The strain is included in this year's flu vaccine. A handful of major pharmaceutical companies are supporting universal flu vaccine research, including GlaxoSmithKline, Janssen Vaccines, a division of Johnson & Johnson, and Sanofi.

Children are considered highly vulnerable to the disease.

Each time you get the flu shot it changes your genetic composition which is why you have to get one each year, unlike other vaccinations.

Shots may still be available from your doctor or local health clinic, as well as at some chain drugstores.

Can you catch the flu from the vaccine?

This year's level of flu outbreak is on track to be one of the most active, according to the CDC.

It's too soon to judge the adequacy of this present season's immunization, yet Brammer said she anticipates that it will be about the same as a year ago.

Murti says the figures are an underestimate of the actual number of cases, as most people don't seek medical attention for flu. If you do become sick with the flu, you should stay home from work or school to prevent spreading it to others. Remaining hydrated, eating nutritious foods and exercising can also help strengthen your immune system.

Pharmacies have also sold out of the medication prescribed by doctors to treat the flu due to increased demand.

People with the flu describe it as feeling like they've been hit by a truck: miserable body aches, fever, fatigue, etc.

"What we've seen with strains in the southern hemisphere is that the vaccine is not as effective", said Dr. Shannon Waters, Island Health, Medical Health Officer.

Hospitals have been overwhelmed with the influx of infected patients that hospitals in the San Francisco Bay Area are limiting visitors under the age of 16 as a precaution.

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