Health Care

Flu season worst since 2009

Flu season worst since 2009”

Radtke said if you begin to have flu symptoms, see a health care provider sooner rather than later.

The flu blanketed the USA again last week for the third straight week. Only Hawaii has been spared.

More people are seeking care for flulike illness than at any time since the 2009 swine flu pandemic that swept the country. Symptoms show as fatigue, sore throat, headaches, labored breathing, muscle or body aches, fever, chills, cough, runny or stuffy nose.

Another 23 people died of flu related illness in California health officials reported Friday, bringing the total number of state deaths to 97, in what federal officials called the worst influenza season to grip the nation in almost a decade.

Despite the late date, public-health officials still recommend that everyone six months or older get flu shots.

Just in the past week alone, 21 people have died from the flu in North Carolina.

It takes time for pediatric deaths to be reported because deaths outside of a hospital have to be reported to the medical examiner or coroner.

The Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is reporting widespread flu activity in 49 states, including Georgia.

-The DOH says 18 New Mexicans have died from the flu so far this season. Adults 65 and older were most likely to be hospitalized-at a rate of 183.1 per 100,000 population-followed by adults aged 50 to 64 (44.2 per 100,000 population) and children aged 0 to 4 years (27.0 per 100,000 population). But exactly how well it is working won't be known until next month.

The flu season usually peaks in February.

Federal and state officials said it's unclear how long the season will last.

"We often see different parts of the country light up at different times, but there is lots of flu all at the same time" this year, he said.

Getting critical medicine to fight the flu is becoming more hard. Or there may be some change in the virus that hasn't been detected yet, said the CDC's Dr. Dan Jernigan, in a call with reporters Friday.

-Experts say the flu vaccine is only 15-20 percent effective this year. There are some places, like California, where the season already seems to be easing, CDC officials said. "I didn't think that was possible but yes", Halliburton-Foster said. "But I've lost money on bets before". Young children and the elderly are at greatest risk from flu and its complications.

There have been four flu deaths in the county this season, Sixberry said.

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