Health Department: Eleven Flu-related deaths reported in El Paso this season

Medical experts warn about new flu strain emerging

Officials have just confirmed the first death of a MA child from flu-related complications: a 6-year-old girl in Haverhill.

The Public Health Department says 250 to 1,100 MA residents die annually from flu-related complications. As of February 3, there have been 4,269 cases, 487 hospitalizations and 24 deaths reported since the beginning of the season in Montana. That's the highest weekly level CT has seen since the 2009 swine flu pandemic.

Since Oct. 1, the Lehigh Valley has recorded almost 4,700 cases and, according to the Lehigh and Northampton county coroners' offices, at least four suspected flu deaths, making this one of the region's worst flu seasons in years.

Mass. General alone has already reported 12 adult deaths from flu this season.

Until last week, the dominant flu virus in Arkansas was H3N2, a type A virus that usually causes more illness than other viruses and mutates faster, making vaccines less effective against it.

People with underlying health conditions who are between the ages of 2 and 64 should consult their doctor about which vaccines they should receive and when. But the CDC expects the flu to be widespread for "several more weeks". She was Georgia's first pediatric death as a result of this season's particularly devastating flu outbreak.

Rodriguez recommended students diagnosed with the flu stay at home for a minimum of five days and the parents contact the school to notify administration. There are numerous other states that have other similar laws just short of requiring healthcare employees to get vaccinated.

Residents are advised to contact their healthcare provider if they experience flu symptoms which include fever, chills, headache, sore throat, dry cough, and body aches. The CDC reports that even if the flu vaccine isn't a flawless match for the season, it still reduces the chance of flu illness by 40-60 percent for the general population.

NY state has seen record numbers of flu cases this season.

New Brunswick Public Health says they noticed people started getting the flu in October when the season normally starts toward the end of December.

The vaccine offers the best protection from the flu and reduces severe outcomes should an individual become ill with the flu.

He also points out that though the flu vaccine is not flawless, it does decrease the likelihood that you'll get very sick or die. For instance, it notes that in young children, the H3N2 component of the vaccine worked better than in other populations; the vaccine effectiveness in children 6 months of age to 8 years old was 51 percent.

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