OH seniors: Protect yourself and those around you from the flu

It's too soon to say if this flu season is worse than others because we're still in the midst of it, but state health officials say 27 statewide deaths is higher than normal.

"Unfortunately, a majority of them didn't have flu shots", she said.

Canada is now dealing with a serious flu outbreak, and experts say peak infections by a dominant strain of the virus could occur sometime within the next few weeks.

"We have not seen an increase in flu activity this early in the winter in the past five years", said Department of Health Secretary Lynn Gallagher. Seventy percent of those who died from influenza were not vaccinated.

More than 217,000 Australians had confirmed cases of the virus a year ago, more than double the previous record. However, it's investigated at least 12 flu outbreaks at facilities, seven of them in the last few weeks. "We urge everyone who has not received a flu shot yet to get one now".

Some experts believe this flu season might be one of the worst ever.

Kane County also experienced an explosion in flu numbers during the last two weeks of December.

"Flu vaccination is. especially important for young children, pregnant women, seniors 65 years and older, and people with high-risk conditions like asthma, diabetes, heart and lung disease, or a compromised immune system", said state epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Park.

Cindy Ramirez may be reached at 546-6151; cramirez@elpasotimes.com; @EPTCindyRamirez on Twitter. Keep in mind to wash your hands after you cough or sneeze. The second way, and probably the easiest, is to wash your hands.

French Flu
GETTYThe French and Aussie flu outbreaks have sparked worries for the worst outbreak in'decades

COVER: Cover your cough.

Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. The crook of your elbow will do.

Dr. Shiley recommends getting the flu vaccine if you haven't already.

CALL: Call or see your doctor if you or your child has a fever greater than 100 degrees.

Last season's shot, which contains the same mix as this year, was 43 percent effective against the H3N2 virus and 48 percent effective overall, according to the CDC.

What is the difference between a cold and the flu? For people at high risk of serious flu complications, treatment with antiviral drugs can mean the difference between milder or more serious illness possibly resulting in a hospital stay.

Lifestyle is also a factor, as people who drink alcohol or smoke are more susceptible to the virus. He is the physician director of infection prevention and control for Catholic Health.

Symptoms of the flu may come on quickly and may include fever, headache, extreme tiredness, dry cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle aches, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

Three types of flu are rife in the United Kingdom, according to health officials - among them deadly "Aussie flu".

  • Joanne Flowers