Flu season hitting Okanagan kids hard

Only Winnipeg region has had more flu cases than Northern Manitoba this season

Flu taking toll in California, other states, but having milder impact nationwide, data show

Eight per cent more people have had the flu shot so far this season compared to this time past year, according to the Ministry of Health.

For a universal flu vaccine to work, it has to target certain parts of the virus that don't change much from season to season, and that's no easy task. Almost all of the pediatric illnesses are linked to H1N1.

Since September, PHAC reported 414 children under 16 have been hospitalized for flu, with the highest estimated rate of admission among kids under five. Only child deaths are reported. As the flu season is just beginning to peak, numbers of people showing symptoms or are considered with the sickness skyrocket. While the CDC continuously monitors patient visits for flu-like illness in the USA, this information can lag up to two weeks behind real time.

"Severe flu outcomes are a somber reminder of how serious flu can be, even for otherwise healthy people".

A total of 17,743 laboratory-confirmed flu cases have been reported, the Public Health Agency of Canada said in its weekly FluWatch report. None of those deaths have been children.

The Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) has already advised people to take precautions to protect themselves from the flu.

"We think our models will become more accurate over time as more online search volumes are collected and as more healthcare providers incorporate cloud-based electronic health records", says Fred Lu, a CHIP investigator and first author on the paper. Flu activity was high in Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and Virginia, according to the CDC.

"We're well into the flu season, " Fry said. "The dominant strain this year is type A, H1N1".

In 2009, pregnant women who were admitted to an intensive care unit for flu were more likely to deliver preterm infants, low birth weight infants and infants with low Apgar scores, compared with women who didn't come down with influenza. "They don't have the ability and capacity to generate enough oxygen for the rest of the body to survive the infection", Givelichian said. Specifically, influenza-like illnesses (ILI) this week peaked at 3.5 percent, whereas last year's ILI peaked at 7.5 percent.

CVS stores will provide flu vaccinations at their MinuteClinic as well as the pharmacy and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics between now and the end of October is the best time to get vaccinated as the flu season begins.

She and other public-health experts urged Canadians who have not yet been vaccinated to get the shot as soon as possible.

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