Flu death toll rises to six as virus 'now circulating more intensely'

Desiree Burns
January 10, 2019

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 80,000 people died nationally, including 180 children, during last year's flu season. "This year's vaccine is a good match for circulating strains and it is not too late to get the vaccine".

The swine flu is the main strain of virus circulating.

Just last week, the Indiana Department of Public Health said flu activity is now "high" and "widespread" across the state. It was the first time this season the county's influenza positivity rate registered above 10 percent, which is the threshold for triggering active flu season.

The HSE said that in an average year, around 60-120 deaths are directly linked to flu and 300-450 are indirectly linked to it. "We continue to recommend community members get their flu shot".

In Clark County, the flu killed at least 14 people last season.

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ME and New Hampshire were the only New England states with lower levels of flu activity through the end of December, the latest federal comparison data available, while most of the South already had been hit hard by the flu.

To help prevent the flu in yourself and others, it's best to wash and disinfect your hands, cover your mouth if you sneeze or cough and stay home if you're ill, especially if you have a fever, the New Jersey Department of Health advises.

Hafiz said the flu shot does not cause an illness.

"So we would like everybody who's eligible to get the vaccine", said Russell, noting that it takes about two weeks for antibodies induced by the shot to come into full effect. A previous version misstated the age of children affected by the flu in a quote from Dr. Danuta Skowronski. Bankole also said that after the 2009 outbreak of H1N1, people developed improved natural immunity to the virus, which means symptoms tend to be milder even for people who contract the flu. It also misstated the percentage of children that make up B.C.'s population.

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