25 flu deaths in Calgary already exceeds last season's total

The number of flu-related deaths in Alberta Health Services Central Zone this season now stands at 16.

Since the current flu season began in October, there have been 135 flu-associated deaths, up from 107 deaths last week, according to state statistics updated each week.

Almost 2,000 patients have been hospitalized so far this season.

"Even though fewer New Yorkers were hospitalized with influenza last week, New Yorkers must continue to be vigilant", said state Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker.

That's why several groups including the National Institutes of Health are working on a universal flu vaccine that would essentially give long lasting protection against all flu viruses.

Given elevated flu activity in the United States, combined with the high travel season to the Caribbean, it is important that people take the necessary steps now, to protect themselves and their loved ones from the flu.

There have been 34 people admitted to the ICU this year for flu symptoms.

Doctors say that there are two types of the flu to keep an eye on, Type A, which is more deadly, and Type B, which the flu shot can better prevent against.

"The Monmouth County Health Department would like to remind residents to wash their hands, cover their cough and stay home from work or school if they are sick", Impreveduto said.

Most flu is spread through air borne droplets that are disbursed when you cough or sneeze.

Speaking of contaminated surfaces, use antibacterial wipes to clean surfaces that many people touch, such as grocery cart handles.

Predicting what virus will dominate a season or why some years are seemingly worse than others is fool's errand, officials said. Soap gets bacteria off of skin because it's slippery, but soap doesn't actually sanitize, Hanrahan said.

"The increases are slight and it is not surpassing Type A", she said.

Quit smoking. Smokers have more respiratory infections.

Before voting in favor of the vaccine on Wednesday, the committee "heard data from the vaccine manufacturer about a possible root cause of poor effectiveness against the influenza A H1N1 virus in the past and a potential solution to address this", Branam said.

However, individuals should seek medical attention if they are having trouble breathing, if they have high fevers or they are hard to wake up.

Outpatient visits for flu-like illness dropped for a second week in a row but remained above the peak seen during many flu seasons, federal officials say. Cost is $37 without insurance for those 19 to 64.

  • Joanne Flowers