The Florida Department of Health provides free shots for children in Lee County.
Starting this week, hospital employees and volunteers who did not get a flu shot must wear masks.
"If you haven't had your flu shot yet, you should run, not walk, to go get your flu shot", said Dr. Kolawole Bankole, director/administrator of Portland Public Health. (Lab-confirmed cases represent a small percentage of all flu cases, often just the ones that require hospitalization).
For too many, it's more than the unpleasantness of fever, chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches and fatigue. "We are hoping for a milder season than we had past year, which was a doozy", Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Tennessee, told Healthline.
Even though H1N1 influenza strain is of the same category as the swine flu virus that caused the pandemic ten years ago, the virologists are not as concerned as they were a decade ago. Meanwhile, 19 states and New York City were reporting high levels of influenza-like illness activity, meaning a much higher-than-average proportion of doctor's visits could be attributed to the flu.
Generally, once positivity rates start rising, they keep rising until flu season begins to taper off in the spring.
As of January 5, 507,028 doses of flu vaccine had been administered by AHS Public Health and pharmacists in Calgary.
Providence hospitals in Olympia and Centralia are taking extra steps to prevent the spread of flu after seeing more people with flu or flu-like symptoms this month.
An estimated 80,000 people died during the 2017-2018 flu season, according to the CDC. These patients include: "children age 6 months to 5 years; adults 50 years of age and above; patients with chronic lung diseases, such as asthma and COPD; patients with diabetes mellitus; and patients who have lower immune system function, such as patients who have cancer or HIV", Durham said.
Vaccination is especially important for people who are at high risk of developing serious complications from influenza.
The flu shot takes two weeks to take full effect, officials said.