Flu cases on the rise in SC this season

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DOH said 33,271 influenza cases and 51 flu-related deaths have been reported so far this season.

Surveillance of influenza activity by the Metropolitan Health District revealed flu cases have been increasing over the past few weeks, as they are in the rest of the state.

Overall vaccine effectiveness against influenza A and B was 48% (95% CI 37%-57%) for the 2016-2017 influenza season thus far, according to the February 17 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Goldberg said the flu spreads through droplets from coughing or sneezing.

According to CDC statistics, 82.3 percent of positive lab results say Ohioans are carrying the A (H3) strain. During the 2014-2015 season, effectiveness was just 19%, according to the CDC.

Public health officials stress it still makes sense to get the vaccine, as people have roughly 50 percent chance it will prevent the illness or if not, at least turn a rough experience into a more mild case.

The effectiveness of the vaccine is less than hoped because the H3N2 virus is able to mutate, Flannery explained. There are actually half a dozen different flu vaccines that are formulated differently and that protect against either three or four flu strains.

Though the flu season has already started, the department noted it is not too late to receive a flu show.

They also identified two novel influenza A infections.

Pneumonia is one of the most serious flu-related complications that occurs in the elderly.

Meanwhile, it was found to be less effective in children between the ages of 9 to 17 years old (32 percent effective), those 18 to 49 (19 percent effective) and those over the age of 65 (46 percent effective).

"Some folks who aren't feeling well may want to try and power through and go to school for that one test or go to work for that important meeting, but please stay home", Dr. Loren Robinson, deputy secretary for health promotion and disease prevention at the state Department of Health, told the Tribune-Review Thursday. Pediatric deaths nationwide are now at 20.

The CDC recommends unvaccinated people who are 6 months old or older still get a shot this year. "Activity is increasing in some of the Midwest and the East Coast".

The authors noted that most influenza infections this season have been caused by influenza A (H3N2).

The flu shot is an inactivated influenza vaccine.

This flu season there are twice as many cases as usual and if you have had a flu shot you're still not protected.

The committee's decision is based on information from more than 100 countries, where influenza-monitoring centers conduct surveillance of circulating viruses. "There is a ideal match between that strain and what is in the vaccine". "It's a big number for what is a moderate level of vaccine effectiveness", he said.

The hospital has signage posted at entrances asking visitors with flu-like symptoms to not visit inpatients, Roark added.

Often times the common cold is mistaken for the flu.

With flu, you can see fever, chills, muscle aches, cough, congestion, runny nose, headaches, and fatigue. The number of people affected every year can vary widely, but generally, the CDC reports that "millions of people are sickened, hundreds of thousands are hospitalized and thousands or tens of thousands of people die from flu every year".

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