Children's Hospital Wants To Restrict Young Visitors To Keep Flu At Bay

Kenny Tucker
January 11, 2019

Jennifer Thomas, nursing director and administrator at the Mason County Health Department, said flu season can begin as early as September and last as long as April.

Authorities have not identified the 4-year-old, who died outside of the county, according to a news release from the Riverside University Health System-Public Health. The 2017-2018 flu season killed the most people since the late 1970s, the CDC also said at the time.

It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body that protect against the flu virus, so the earlier the shot is administered, the better.

"We are seeing the shift from the elderly people in the last couple of years, while this year is more of a younger demographic", said Dr. Silvina Mema, Interior Health Medical Health Officer.

Flu activity in ME is characterized by the Centers for Disease Control as local and minimal but the numbers are growing.

The New Jersey Department of Health is confirming the state's first pediatric flu death of the season.

A total of 13 children have died so far this flu season.

The symptoms are similar to seasonal flu symptoms. That's the strain that was circulating widely last year, when we had a really bad year for flu.

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Symptoms include fever, chills, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes, sore throat, headaches, fatigue and coughing.

The Canadian health agency reports 43% of the cases in Ontario so far this season are children, compared to about 20% past year.

The new policy, which was announced on Monday, Jan. 7, is a response to the current flu season.

Lee Health also has some prevention advice with getting the flu vaccine, as well as the pneumococcal vaccine, topping its list.

Maintaining healthy habits, like getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet and drinking enough water, can also help you stay healthy this flu season. Most of the deaths occurred in patients who were over the age of 65. Even if you do get the flu, your symptoms are likely to be less severe if you've been vaccinated. (Lab-confirmed cases represent a small percentage of all flu cases, often just the ones that require hospitalization).

Previous year was a record number for influenza cases with an increase in the number of severe cases for every age group and is attributed by the CDC to the low rate of vaccinations given.

Q: If the flu vaccine isn't 100 percent effective, should people still get it?

Since 2010, the CDC has advised that everyone over the age of 6 months should be vaccinated against influenza. When they get sick, we test them for the flu and find out whether or not they received a vaccine.

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