Four times more flu cases reported in El Paso over previous year

Flu woman

Woman sneezing

Solano County Health & Social Services will be providing free influenza vaccines at the KROC Center, 586 East Wigeon Way, Suisun City from 10 2 p.m. January 27. This is the case over the festive season, says Ross, and many people have been admitted to hospital with flu A and B, including the H32N strain.

Each flu season, flu causes millions of illnesses, hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations and thousands or sometimes tens of thousands of deaths.

"Anyone over six months of age, unless they have certain allergies or certain health conditions, should get the flu shot", Everett said, noting vaccination is a means of protecting those one encounters routinely, including those in higher risk categories.

Meanwhile, 1600 cases of Aussie flu have been reported in the United Kingdom so far with 17 people having to be admitted to intensive care.

A small amount of vaccines is still available, and to ensure they can be used to protect health will be provided at no charge to patients until supplies are depleted. A steady increase in seasonal flu activity and other upper respiratory illnesses in the community have been noted since visitor restrictions were implemented in late December.

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Flu symptoms may include a fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches, fatigue, and/or, possibly, vomiting and diarrhea.

"All four strains are circulating to some level, but the majority (of cases) are the strain we know causes more severe influenza seasons", Baber said.

There has been a surge in the number of patients presenting to Global Positioning System all over the country with flu-like illnesses, according to local GP and Chairman of the IMO GP Committee, Dr Padraig McGarry.

Stomach viruses, such as Norovirus, are very contagious and can infect anyone.

These viruses are easily spread between groups of individuals when people congregate.

Flu cases on the rise in Hays County
The number of people testing positive for influenza also is significantly higher than in past years across the state and nation. The flu shot used the same components as as Australia's vaccine during their flu season that ended in August.

So far this flu season, at least 3,927 people have been sent to the hospital with laboratory-confirmed cases of influenza. Vaccine effectiveness does vary for the different strains each year.

As a reminder, getting the flu shot not only protects you, but also those most vulnerable. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.

While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them. The Allegheny County Health Department is warning area residents about the rise in flu activity in the area, and urging them to go to the doctor for antiviral treatment as soon as flu symptoms begin.

If you are sick, stay home and avoid contact with others.

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