Dallas County reports first two flu deaths for the season

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Six people have died from flu in the past ten days as hospitals reported a 13.5 per cent rise in the number of patients compared with a year ago.

Overall, there have been 1,988 lab confirmed cases since the beginning of September, as of the week ending January 5.

While officials say the national hospitalization "ranking" for children is not overly concerning - it's older and younger, in that order, who are most at risk of flu-related complications - there have been 11 pediatric deaths to date, eight of them in December.

There were two main reasons for last year's epidemic: the predominant strain of flu virus circulating among the population was especially aggressive; and the 2018 vaccine did not match the strains of flu that most people were coming down with.

"The flu is alive and well", said Dallas County's Interim Health and Human Services Director Ganesh Shivaramaiyer.

Flu vaccines are the best way to prevent influenza, according to public health experts, but there's always some guesswork in predicting the strain that will be most commonly circulating in the upcoming season.

It's not too late to get your flu shot, Prince George!

A 3-year-old girl in Kane County passed away due to the flu.

"For those who get influenza and you've gotten the flu shot, it may also temper the course and moderate the course of the disease even if you get influenza", added Dr. Wu.

Dr. Jia Hu said that while the number of Calgary cases peaked in November, it's still possible for another rise in cases this season. "Because it's been around now for ten years, it's become one of our regular influenza viruses", Hoyano said. You know, every time a colleague or a loved one emits a nasty cough, you can't help but shoot them a look that all but screams, "Are you about to get me sick?!".

Last week the Arkansas Department of Heath reported that four people had died as a result of the flu since its last report more than two weeks earlier. So far, the current vaccine appears to have worked well in that region and is performing better than last year's vaccine. Children as young as 6 months old can get a flu shot.

Public health officials theorize that young children are being particularly hard-hit this season because they were not born when the H1N1 serotype was last widespread in Canada, thus they were unable to build up immunity.

Symptoms of the flu include fever, chills, muscle aches, cough, congestion, runny nose, headaches and fatigue. For more information on how you can get the flu vaccine at no cost, visit Flu Vaccine on the TRICARE website.

Each year there is a different vaccine, and the vaccinations protect people from several strains of flu. The U.S. CDC typically announces initial vaccine effectiveness for the season in February, after collecting data.