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05 January 2018, 01:07 | Rodolfo Wallace
State records show that the flu season in Illinois appears to be peaking early this year.
Darron Cummings AP
"This is the time of year where there's an increase in viral illnesses generally speaking, so it's really important to remind people to wash your hands, and make sure you cover your cough".
Almost 1,000 influenza cases have been reported in Pima County so far this season through December 30 - 10 times more than the number of cases reported through December 31 a year ago.
Due to a report out of Australia, some news agencies are saying that this season's flu vaccine is only 10 percent effective.
That figure only represents the relatively small number of people chosen for testing, he explained, but it still provides a valuable snapshot of the bigger picture. One reason is because of the type of flu strain going around, California health officials said.
In cases of those with flu-like symptoms, the department says they have over 10,000 unconfirmed cases. One state reported local activity and the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam did not report.
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) said Thursday that it has received 17 reports of laboratory-confirmed influenza-related deaths among patients under the age of 65 statewide during the 2017-2018 influenza season.
"It's definitely flu season, but we're used to handling flu season", Riley said.
Novant said in a statement that "while we constantly monitor the spread of influenza at our hospitals, as well as in the communities we serve, at this time we do not feel that we have reached the threshold where visitor restrictions are necessary".
And it's not too late to get a flu shot. The CDC urges a vaccination for everyone 6 months of age or older.
He said with the vaccine, even if you get sick, it won't likely be as severe, and the vaccine is also effective against other forms of influenza like H1 and Influenza B.
"We're about two weeks ahead of where we were past year", she said.
"Don't touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean", said Brandie Anderson, director of infection prevention at Banner-University Medical Center.
"Patients experiencing flu symptoms should see a health provider, including primary care or urgent care, as soon as possible, because there is a prescription medicine that can reduce the duration and symptoms". The hospital took patients who arrived in the emergency room other than by ambulance, Matuska said.
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