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Flu cases on the rise in Mason County

Flu cases on the rise in Mason County

This year's flu shot, however, is not a "perfect match" for the strain of H3N2 now going around, so health experts warn people may become sick when exposed to the virus even if they received a flu shot.

"We are now in the midst of a very active flu season with much of the nation experiencing widespread and intense activity", CDC Director Brenda Fitzgerald told reporters during a briefing. Health officials reported their findings in a Friday morning phone conference.

According to the DOH, flu activity is considered "widespread" in the state, with flu activity increasing through all regions.as of January 6, 18 deaths were considered "influenza-associated".

The strain, known as H3N2, mutates, making it hard to match what's in the vaccine to the virus circulating in the community, Kendall said.

While the flu vaccine is the recommended precautionary measure, Echols said county residents should wash their hands often, refrain from touching your eyes, mouth or nose and stay at home if they experience flu-like symptoms. "That's why we're trying to limit the number of visitors who come into the hospital".

"We're seeing a sharp spike with all the kids that were out of school for the holidays, now they're back in school", said Jones.

The vaccine is available at the county's community health centers.

We are likely in or entering the very worst of our flu season now, according to an infectious disease specialist with UPMC PinnacleHealth, so keep getting your rest and washing those hands. Fitzgerald said manufacturers have produced and shipped over 151 million vaccines as of last month. It's important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever, according to the CDC. The agency has been in regular contact with manufacturers, and while the national supply should be sufficient to meet demand, some manufacturers are reporting delays in filling orders, Jernigan said. "We've clearly based the baseline in November and we're at the peak of it now".

Doctors have stressed that a flu jab is the best way to combat the bug, and began offering free jabs to certain patient groups in October. The elderly, children, pregnant women and people with chronic medical conditions are at high risk for flu complications.

The state also reported its first influenza-associated pediatric death this season, which was confirmed by the Wadsworth Center, the state's public health laboratory in Albany.

"Flu is widespread and elevated in LA County", said Dr. Sharon Balter, director of Acute Communicable Disease Control.

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