Published: Wed, January 22, 2020
Health Care | By Cedric Leonard

Flu Hits Young People Hard This Season

Flu Hits Young People Hard This Season

Health officials are warning that with this year's influenza virus reaching levels typically seen later in the season, the importance of getting a flu shot this year can not be overstated.

Department of Health statistics show nearly 15 percent of recent ER visits in central Washington have been for treatment of flu-like symptoms.

The latest death was revealed in a weekly report from the health department, which said the death involved someone between 75 and 84 years old.

This also means people who have already had the flu this season could potentially get it again if they happen to catch both strains of the flu.

At the same time a year ago, Kentucky's flu statistics were much less concerning; the state had 3,148 lab-confirmed cases and nine deaths, one of a minor.

"Even when the vaccine is not a ideal match, it still offers some protection".

A health department fact sheet says, "The sampling represents only a small percentage of influenza cases for the state, but contributes to the ongoing assessment of flu activity in Kentucky and helps determine the level of flu activity in the state each week".

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The Department of Public Health said there have been 12 influenza-associated mortalities this flu season, as well as 57 flu-related hospitalizations.

The CDC estimates that, so far this season, there have been at least 13 million illnesses, 120,000 hospitalizations and 6,600 deaths from the flu.

Flu season arrived early this year and has been widespread throughout California and Nevada. Although it's best to be vaccinated by the end of October, getting the shot in January or later can still protect against the flu. "Get it now. It takes two weeks for it to full take effect".

Consult your doctor for advice, especially if symptoms are severe.

According to a study from Mott Children's Hospital more than half of parents give their kids over the counter products like vitamins or supplements to prevent colds, but there is little proof that it is effective.

Transfer of the virus happens through droplet spread - when a person sneezes or coughs, their infected mucus stays in the air and can be picked up by someone else.

Retail and healthcare workers are said to be most at risk because they are more likely to be in contact with lots of people. That's why it's important individuals take advantage of the flu vaccine, she said.

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