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08 March 2018, 12:57 | Rodolfo Wallace
New findings support “wider use of influenza vaccination in heart failure patients.”Shutterstock
The number of flu-related hospitalizations and deaths since last fall have been off-the-charts high in Oklahoma, which is the reason for the move to offer the immunizations at no cost. However, the Texas Department of State Health Services explained that the flu activity still remains high across the state.
"We have seen the numbers go up and down in the past", Deti said.
Simpson said this is a huge increase from the "typical" number of cases that are diagnosed by this time in the flu season, which is around 5,000.
That type of flu overtook influenza A last month as the most common type in circulation in the state. The number of people going to the doctor with symptoms of the flu has continued to decline. Included in the total are four pediatric deaths.
While the Influenza B virus can be better for some people because the vaccine is more effective, Simpson said the virus is more risky for men over the age of 50 because it is associated with an onset of heart attacks.
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The flu season peaked nationwide in mid-February, with 7.4 percent of medical visits attributed to the flu, making it the worst flu season in the United States since the 2009 swine flu pandemic, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Even, health officials said that yet it is not so late to get vaccinations.
Nationally, the disease is "widespread" in 45 states and Puerto Rico.
If the season lasts 20 weeks, as most seasons do, it should end in about five weeks, he said.
The agency is waiving administrative for the flu shot at its public health clinics.
Haselow said people who haven't gotten the flu shot, which becomes fully effective about two weeks after it's administered, should still get one.
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