Flu Season Has Kicked In... Here's How to Protect Yourself

10 January, 2019, 07:52 | Author: Lillian Steele
  • As flu outbreak numbers rise, the HSE says it's not too late to get your vaccine

Nationally, 80,000 people in that age group died after contracting the virus. That applies to data collected on both adults and children.

Ottawa Public Health offers flu shots, by appointment, for children under five (613 580-6744).

The Public Health Agency of Canada reports that 414 children under the age of 16 had to be hospitalized due to influenza across Canada since September, including 71 who had to be admitted to the ICU.

This time a year ago, there was a strong flu strain, forcing hospital facilities to impose strict visiting restrictions which remained in place ever since.

The flu season started earlier this year and Saskatchewan's chief medical officer Dr. Saqib Shahab said it has peaked.

Flu cases last week fell to 257 from 369 the previous week.

"So there is no reason why people should not get the flu shot this year".

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"This year's vaccine is a good match for the strains of flu that are circulating and it is not too late to be vaccinated".

During the last week of December, Marion County emergency room visits related to influenza-like illness was at 2.70% - this is considered high.

"At the end of 2018, flu activity was high in New York City and 19 states, including most of the American southwest and New Jersey".

Limerick-based Dr Kevin Kelleher, the assistant national director in health protection, said that flu levels are likely to increase over the coming weeks when the flu begins to actively circulate in the community.

"So we would like everybody who's eligible to get the vaccine", said Russell, noting that it takes about two weeks for antibodies induced by the shot to come into full effect.

Other tests called rapid molecular assays can also take 15 to 20 minutes to complete and they detect the actual genetic material of the flu virus, according to the CDC.

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