With Severe Influenza Season, Health Officials Advise Getting Flu Shot

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"You might want to go isolate yourself on a different floor of the house or a different room if possible", he said. "January tends to be the time when we see a spike in flu cases". We encourage folks to continue to receive their flu shots. The antiviral should be taken within two days of flu symptoms, according to the department. Our infection control manager is telling us that initially we are seeing a 10-30 percent efficacy rate for the vaccination.

"The best window into what is likely to be coming here is what is happening in the southern hemisphere", said Dr. Stephen Morse, a flu expert and epidemiologist at Columbia University's Mailman School for Public Health.

The first and most important step to protection against flu viruses is being vaccinated.

In the Pacific Northwest there haven't been any reported cases of dog flu this year, but veterinarian Dr. Eric Bucki, who practices in Florida, says it's good to get ahead of the virus by getting your pooch vaccinated.

In its latest report, the CDC said the virus is present in every state, with 32 states reporting severe flu activity. She says everyone should get the vaccine, including children and says kids can start getting flu shots after they turn 6 months old. It's not too late to have your flu vaccine this winter - speak to your GP, midwife or nearest participating pharmacy for more information. If you've got the flu, the CDC recommends staying home for at least one day - or until the fever subsides.

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Current data relies on sentinel survey data which monitors available flu cases and creates a percentage of flu cases to all hospital patients.

"People who get the flu vaccine still may get one of the strands and get sick but will have significantly milder symptoms", the email read.

In late December, Northern Michigan saw the highest rate of hospitalization due to influenza-like illnesses in the state at almost 6 percent. "H3N2-predominant seasons have been associated with more severe illness especially among people older than 65 years and children", Pettit said. It normally takes until after flu season is over to tally the total number of deaths related to the flu.

Last week the CDC announced the entire continental USA has demonstrated widespread flu activity as of Saturday, Jan. 6.