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Flu cases starting to surge, with kids and teens especially vulnerable: doctors
10 January 2019, 07:53 | Rodolfo Wallace
H1N1 has been the most common strain of the virus seen so far this season, which experts anticipate will be milder than last year's strain. That's slightly less compared to this time a year ago, but by February of 2018, the number of flu-related deaths skyrocketed to 200.
Nearly half the cases in Ontario are the H1N1 strain which affects children, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada report. The 2017-2018 flu season killed the most people since the late 1970s, the CDC also said at the time.
The viruses circulating this year are another reason for the milder season.
Ontario got off to slower start to the season compared to Alberta, for instance, which began getting hit with the respiratory illness in late October, early November. At this point in the 2017-2018 flu season, 46 states were reporting widespread flu activity, there were 13.7 flu hospitalizations per 100,000 people and nearly 6% of doctor's visits were related to the flu.
It marks the second flu-related death reported so far in Riverside County after a 60-year-old Riverside man died from flu-related complications in November.
As of December 29, New Brunswick had 579 lab-confirmed cases, 577 of them influenza A and two of influenza B. Of those, 71 people were hospitalized, 15 were admitted to the ICU and there were three deaths.
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A woman prepares to receive a flu shot on January 22, in San Francisco.
"There is high flu activity throughout the state so it's important for those who have not yet gotten a flu shot - especially health care workers - to get one", the state department of health reminded residents. Vaccines protect against multiple flu strains.
Flu vaccine critics, including naturopathy practitioners, argue that mercury, detergents and other additives sometimes packed into the shots can do more harm than good.
That also goes for healthy adults who are in close contact with people in those groups or with babies under six months of age who are too young to be inoculated against influenza, she said.
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