CT reports 20 more flu deaths; total up to 97

A CDC committee backed AstraZeneca's Flu Mist for use next flu season

A CDC committee backed AstraZeneca's Flu Mist for use next flu season

Health officials are hesitant in saying this nasty flu season has peaked after 31 more influenza-related deaths were reported in Iowa.

Among Capital Region counties, Albany and Rensselaer saw the number of diagnosed cases decrease last week, but Saratoga, Schoharie and Schenectady saw more people diagnosed.

However the regional health body said vaccination remains the most effective way to prevent the disease, with safe and effective vaccines have been available and used for over 60 years.

The flu season is in its 13th week of high activity, during which 3,600 died of flu and associated illnesses - largely pneumonia striking people older than 50 - a 26% decline from the week before. Doctors don't fully know why the flu may lead to heart attacks in some people, but it could be the added stress the virus puts on the body.

"Simply, we're seeing more severe (cases), and this has lasted longer than the typical flu season".

The needle-free FluMist influenza vaccine is coming back to the US after two years off the market, promising a less painful way for people to inoculate themselves against the infectious disease.

Morrow noted that as reports of H3N2 appear to be decreasing statewide and nationwide, Type B flu strains are on the rise and might not have reached their peak.

So far, the predominant virus circulating in North Carolina and nationally has been influenza Type A (H3N2) virus.

Though influenza A is still the dominant strain this season, there was a substantial increase in influenza B cases, typical of this time of year.

"If you get a flu shot, the risk of death goes down 50 percent", he said.

Alberta Health also recommends people cover their mouths when coughing, wash hands regularly and stay home when sick to avoid spreading the infection.

Brownwood/Brown County Health Department is now offering flu vaccine at NO out of pocket expense; please note quantities are limited.

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