Department Of Health Reports Nine Flu-Related Deaths

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The number of flu cases normally peaks here and elsewhere between January and February.

Up to half of the children who die from flu have no known medical condition that would have put them at higher risk.

"The Tucson Medical Center emergency department is now experiencing a 10 percent increase in patient volume over the previous year", said hospital spokesman Jim Marten, when asked about how flu cases were affecting the hospital.

Widespread means that more than 50 percent of geographic regions within a US state are reporting flu activity.

Novant said in a statement that "while we constantly monitor the spread of influenza at our hospitals, as well as in the communities we serve, at this time we do not feel that we have reached the threshold where visitor restrictions are necessary". The state DHHS said the child was between the ages of 5 and 17.

Nationally, there have been 12 pediatric deaths from the flu.

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The report issued for the week ending December 30 lists seven deaths, bringing the total to 20 for this flu season.

A map of the United Kingdom shows the worst hit areas by flu as figures reveal the number of sufferers has more than doubled compared to the same period past year. That represented the highest level of flu-related deaths since DHHS began providing victim totals in 2008.

Even if you feel you are strong enough to tough it out and still work or go to school while sick, you could still infect others whose immune systems aren't as strong.

"Don't touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean", said Brandie Anderson, director of infection prevention at Banner-University Medical Center.

She also pointed out those reports were based on one flu strain, the H3N2 virus, and other strains are now circulating in New Jersey and across the rest of the nation, so it's too soon to know for sure how effective the vaccine really is.

Contact Mikayla Mace at 573-4158 and Stephanie Innes at 573-4134.