Published: Thu, January 10, 2019
Health Care | By Cedric Leonard

Peak flu season claims three Sask. children

Peak flu season claims three Sask. children

"There is high flu activity throughout the state so it's important for those who have not yet gotten a flu shot - especially health care workers - to get one", the state department of health reminded residents.

Flu-like illnesses are trending above the county's historical five-year average. Thirteen children have died from the flu so far this season.

Overall, flu activity was down last week compared to previous weeks. While Mema says it's close to being the peak of the flu season, it can stick around well into March.

"We are seeing numbers rise in our region", said Dr. Irfan Hafiz, an infectious disease specialist who serves as chief medical officer of the northwest region of Northwestern Medicine.

The CDC recommends that everyone 6-months-old and older get a flu shot every year.

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These tests are rapid, like the name suggests but depending on the actual strain of the virus going around they can have varying success in properly identifying the flu.

The best protection against the flu is the flu shot, but is it too late to get vaccinated? Rates, however, were higher among young children and the elderly (14.5 and 11.9 hospitalizations per 100,000 people, respectively), as these populations are more susceptible to complications of the flu. Data suggests that more people got vaccinated earlier this year than they did last year, perhaps motivated by memories of the prior season.

A young child who died after testing positive for influenza is the first pediatric-flu associated death in Riverside County this flu season, health officials said Wednesday.

No other details regarding the child's death have been released at this time. 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.

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