First pediatric flu death reported in Ohio

First pediatric flu death reported in Ohio

In its weekly FluWatch report, the Public Health Agency of Canada says there were 11,277 laboratory-confirmed cases of flu across the country as of December 30 - about 70 per cent attributed to H3N2 - with more than 1,000 influenza-related hospitalizations and 34 deaths.

The 2017-18 flu season in OH and nationally is looking similar to what was seen during the 2014-15 flu season which at the time was the most severe flu season in recent years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The first was a 4-year-old boy from Montgomery County.

ODH also is reporting more than 1,700 new confirmed flu-associated hospitalizations in OH during the first week of January, a significant increase over 925 reported during the last week of December.

From October 2017 through January 2018, more than 65,000 people were treated for the flu in Tarrant County hospitals and John Peter Smith Health Network Clinics. Influenza B can also affect older people and is the strain that most often infects children. However, the medical community has seen an uptick in positive flu cases in Hays County since a year ago.

The department says it can take up to two weeks to build full immunity to influenza following a vaccination, so people should get flu shots immediately.

The strain of the virus that has been predominant this flu season (H3N2) is more risky for the elderly and young children, Johnson said. Adults can spread the flu for one day before they get sick for up to 5-7 days from the first symptoms.

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Cases of the flu were close to epidemic levels at the end of 2017, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Earlier reports had said Australia's flu vaccine was only 10 percent effective, but that doesn't mean USA vaccines rated the same.

Each year the formula for the vaccine is developed based on last year's flu virus.

"Given the expectation of low vaccine effectiveness this season, especially for H3N2, that advice about getting early care for those with high-risk conditions applies to both vaccinated and unvaccinated people", she said.

These well intentioned gestures of good cheer coupled with children returning to school create the ideal storm scenario for spreading the flu even further.

The Ohio Department of Health said influenza A, or H3N2, is the most common virus this season. Another factor is a fear of getting the flu from the vaccine.

She says you can contact your doctor within 24 hours to get treatment that can lessen the impact of flu. "And if they do get sick, try to reach their health district for antiviral medication".

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