Flu Cases Increasing In Our Area

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The health department now says the flu has been reported in every region of Iowa.

During the entire flu season there were 333 flu-related deaths in Kentucky past year, five of which were pediatric. It said it had received a report of the death of a child under the age of 18 from flu, but had no more details.

According to the CDC, flu activity is high in Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and Virginia. Right now, the hospitalization rate is still relatively low compared with past year, and deaths are still below epidemic levels, she said.

So far this season, Iowa health department officials have reported only "sporadic" flu activity in the state, which indicates a small number of lab-confirmed cases or a single lab-confirmed outbreak. So a great way to protect yourself is to make sure you get the flu shot.

Those numbers are a jump from the fewer than 90 cases confirmed the week of December 8. With significant flu still to come this season, CDC continues to recommend that anyone who has not yet gotten a flu vaccine this season should get vaccinated now.

Reports show Lancaster and Lebanon counties have the most confirmed cases in our area.

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If untreated, the CDC said the flu can lead to more complicated health problems like bacterial infections and pneumonia. Flu season typically runs from October through May.

She lost her 6-year-old daughter, Allison Eaglespeaker, to flu on December 1.

Even though the flu season is underway, there are still potentially several months of the season left, and it's not too late to get a flu shot.

Once someone gets the flu, antiviral drugs can lessen symptoms and hasten recovery, and reduce complications and hospitalizations.

Mission Health team members and visitors can help prevent the spread of influenza by practicing frequent hand hygiene, staying home if they are sick and getting an annual influenza vaccine.

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