Whereas we normally start to see an increase in late November, as Niagara did in the 2018-19 flu season, the spike didn't happen this time around until over the Christmas holidays.
According to the Iowa Department of Health, as of the last week of December, some 700 people across the state have tested positive for influenza.
The first flu statistics for 2020 in Oklahoma are in and almost 200 more people have been hospitalized in just the past week. "This is not the ideal way to protect yourself, and just because you get the vaccine does not mean you won't get the flu, but it's certainly the best approach". In comparison with influenza A, influenza B is fairly stable and is not changing so many adults have immunity from earlier infection in life. The influenza A (H3N2) strain was dominant there previous year, while most USA cases this season have been caused by a very different strain, called B Victoria.
The flu is a very contagious disease caused by the influenza virus, and the illness can be very mild or severe.
Howard Gamble, administrator of the Wheeling-Ohio County Health Department, said this is the highest level of influenza activity, according to health classification.
There may be another four months of the flu season, so a flu shot is still not superfluous. "The best time to get vaccinated is now".
Staying away from those afflicted with the "flu" - or staying away from others if you are yourself sick - is also important.
The flu is not an illness that gets reported but anyone with symptoms should get treated.
But how do you know if you have a cold or the flu? Certain groups are at higher risk for serious illness from flu, including children younger than five, pregnant women, people over 65 and those with certain chronic medical conditions, such as heart or lung disease. "And then you do get the muscle aches, the pain, as well as the respiratory symptoms". These steps include: frequent hand washing, covering your coughs/sneezes with a tissue or into your elbow and staying home if you have flu-like symptoms.
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