Health care providers notice increase in flu cases

Posted January 12, 2018

"The flu really should knock you down", said Dr Michael Chang, Memorial Hermann, TMC/UT Health. Only Hawaii, Maine, New Hampshire, and New Jersey reported regional flu activity.

Experts say several indicators suggest the flu season is getting worse.

The CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend annual flu vaccinations for everyone age 6 months and older.

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Local health care providers and pharmacies all over Lee County also provide flu shots. "The vaccine is still available", said Lisa Almaguer, the Butte County Public Health Communications Manager.

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With the flu widespread throughout the region, UK HealthCare is announcing temporary rules for patient visits in an effort to protect patients and workers.

Individuals in a high-risk group that experience symptoms of flu (fever, chills and feeling very exhausted accompanied by sore throat, muscle or body aches, headaches, or nasal congestion), should contact their health care provider early in the illness.

"All four strains are circulating to some level, but the majority (of cases) are the strain we know causes more severe influenza seasons", Baber said. "Flu can cause serious complications and even cause death".

There has been a surge in the number of patients presenting to Global Positioning System all over the country with flu-like illnesses, according to local GP and Chairman of the IMO GP Committee, Dr Padraig McGarry. It's very challenging to predict which virus will dominate. These viruses can be spread to others by an infected person, through contaminated food or water, or by touching contaminated surfaces. Children may also experience nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. "The best prevention is still the influenza vaccine", Dr. Adalja says.

Flu vaccines are still available in Solano County and it is not too late to get vaccinated.

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Visitors are urged to wash their hands before and after their visits. An annual vaccination is the best way to reduce your risk of getting sick with seasonal flu and spreading it to others.

"The percentage is alarming because it means that nearly two-thirds of pregnant women are potentially not protected", said Dr. Tracy Foo, DHEC's Immunization and Acute Disease Epidemiology Division.

Officials said Tuesday they are seeing improvements, such as the number of people with influenza symptoms in emergency rooms.

"And the advice if you do have any of those symptoms would be to stay home, because if you go to school or work, you'll share that virus with others".

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