Medical

Flu season hits early, hard in Texas

Flu season hits early, hard in Texas

The Ohio Department of Health is reporting the state's first pediatric flu death of the 2017-18 flu season, a 4-year-old boy from Montgomery County.

The state Department of Health Services reports 11,515 flu cases statewide this season, compared with 1,109 cases during the same time period a year earlier.

Louisiana is seeing widespread and early flu activity, and local physicians like Dr. Jeffrey Combetta, medical director at Franklin Medical Center, say their patients are asking what can be done to avoid the illness. In fact, different years bring different strains of flu, and the numbers of cases, complications, hospitalizations, and deaths related to the flu vary from year to year. However, the medical community has seen an uptick in positive flu cases in Hays County since past year.

Most of the cases seen at the Beatrice hospital in December, involved elderly patients.

It's uncertain exactly how long the flu will stick around, but Baber said the vaccines don't expire until the end of June. H3N2-predominant flu seasons have been associated with more severe illness, especially among children and adults age 65 and older.




The influenza is in its peak months in January and February, and, during the last week of 2017, "influenza activity increased sharply in the United States", the CDC said. Vaccine effectiveness against H3N2 viruses has been around 30 percent. It takes about two weeks for protection to develop after vaccination and protection lasts throughout the flu season. "But if you do get vaccinated and get influenza, hopefully, your symptoms will be less severe".

"No parent should ever have to suffer the loss of a child to the flu".

In addition to vaccination, public information officer Alexandra Reed said consistent hand washing and staying home if you are sick are the keys to preventing the virus' spread. Normally people who have the flu have a combination of fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches and fatigue.

The antiviral medications work best when started within two days of the onset of symptoms; even after two days, these medications can be beneficial.


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