Experts warn 2018 is among worst for flu outbreak

Flu woman

Flu can be especially unsafe for pregnant women, young children, people age 65 and older, and those who have underlying health conditions such as asthma and other chronic diseases. Nicole is the Director of Employee Health at Community Regional Medical Center.

"We offer our deepest sympathies to the individual's loved ones", he added. These early indicators suggest that it may be more severe than usual.

The number of patients heading to doctors and hospitals doubled in the last week.

Experts say it's possible the numbers are higher because flu season started early this year-but it's just too soon to know for sure.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all Americans older than 6 months get the flu vaccine every year to prevent the flu. Flu-related deaths in persons under 65 years old are reportable in California, because they are more rare than flu-related deaths in people over age 65, Acosta said. Last flu season 278 people in Washington were confirmed to have died from influenza.

"The spike in influenza activity that we're experiencing now is not unusual", Dr. Danuta Skowronski of the BC Centre for Disease Control told News 1130.

In Clay County, at the CareSpot in Middleburg, the staff says the cold weather hasn't help with the spread of flu. "We all need to take appropriate precautions against getting the flu".

Is the flu vaccine the best way to protect children? The CDC says it's usually 50 percent effective.

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Please do not visit hospitalized patients if you are not feeling well, particularly if you have had flu-like symptoms during the past seven days. For health department contact information, click on the LOCATIONS tab on the North Georgia Health District website at www.nghd.org.

The flu vaccine is widely available at doctors' offices, clinics and pharmacies.

How long can a sick child spread the flu to others?

The flu vaccine is especially important for people at high risk for serious illness or death from influenza such as the elderly, pregnant women and young children, as well as healthcare workers and family and friends of anyone at high risk. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based rub. CDC recommends staying home for at least 24 hours after the fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities.

Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.

Dr. Neelakanta also cleared up a common myth about the influenza virus and the vaccine.

Did you get your flu shot?

Eggs are used in the production of the virus, but that doesn't mean you can not get the flu shot if you have an egg allergy.

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