Health Care

First pediatric flu death reported to NJ Department of Health

First pediatric flu death reported to NJ Department of Health”

"Flu activity has taken off our projection is that it's going to continue to increase, probably for the next few months", says Dr. Andrew Walshak with Presbyterian/ St. Luke's Medical Center. "This is a tragic reminder that the flu can still kill and that children are particularly susceptible to the illness".

"The dominant virus is different from previous year, which is excellent". In cases with longer duration, the infection can also open up the body to a secondary bacterial pneumonia.

Across Ontario, influenza has been hitting young children, but the picture is a little different in the Quinte area.

"So we would like everybody who's eligible to get the vaccine", said Russell, noting that it takes about two weeks for antibodies induced by the shot to come into full effect.

The flu season is far from over though.

It can be hard to predict, but so far it appears the 2018/19 season will peak in late January and early February.

Hospitalization rates associated with the flu remained relatively low, at 5.4 admissions per 100,000 people. "This is called 'herd immunity, '" he explained.

The vaccine you get may also help to protect others.

Of course, it's still possible to get the flu even if you've gotten the flu shot, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't get vaccinated.

"Complacency worries me most of all".

Dr Kelleher said that while most people will get better themselves from flu, anyone who was concerned about their condition should telephone their GP or an out-of-hours medical service so they could arrange to be treated in a way that did not put others at risk.

Regular hand washing, getting the flu shot, and sneezing into your arm rather than your hand are important preventive measures. But if flu symptoms still appear, experts say to contact a doctor.



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