Flu cases on the rise in Hays County

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Flu season begins in October, and typically peaks between December and February.

The number of people testing positive for influenza also is significantly higher than in past years across the state and nation.

Dr. Michael de Lota, family medicine physician at ARC Kyle Plum Creek, said he believed the spike in cases stems from fewer people getting the flu vaccine. That compares to 13 at the same time previous year.

On Monday, the number of people seeking care at the John Peter Smith Hospital Emergency Department reached 400, up from 321 on January 1.

She's seen a recent spike in cases with 170 reports of influenza in the county through December 23, a 45-percent increase from a year ago.

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At the end of its flu season in mid-August, Australia had more than 93,000 laboratory-confirmed cases - nearly 2.5 times the number of infections and double the number of hospitalizations and deaths compared to the previous year. She said in order for the CDC to produce the correct vaccination, it must correctly predict what type of flu strain will be prevalent.

"Influenza is in full swing in Canada", said Tam, noting that this year's flu season started earlier than normal.

Delhi government has issued advisory with regard to prevention of seasonal influenza - H1N1 or Swine Flu.

Gratton said she highly recommends those who haven't been immunized get the flu shot, which offers "very good protection" for influenza B. Local pharmacies are still offering the free vaccines.

"We try to be sensitive and practical", said Kitchen. We have some people hospitalized with severe cases of influenza.

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The flu shot used the same components as as Australia's vaccine during their flu season that ended in August.

Complications of flu can include bacterial pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections and worsening of chronic medical conditions, such as congestive heart failure, asthma or diabetes.

We also reached out to the health departments in Benton, Carroll, Clinton, Fountain and Warren counties. And hospital patients are asked to have no more than two visitors at a time.

Healthy lifestyle habits can also protect you from seasonal illness.

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