Longford people in flu risk group are urged to get vaccinated

As flu outbreak numbers rise, the HSE says it's not too late to get your vaccine

A spokesperson for the HSE said that the best way to protect yourself is to get the flu vaccine.

But experts still keep a careful eye on the H1N1 strain, which in 1918 infected 500 million people worldwide and killed 50 million in one of the worst disease outbreaks in recorded history.

This year, two people have died from flu, one being between ages 19-49 and the other older than 50.

The CDC reports that New Jersey is one of the states where the flu is widespread.

While not as early as it did previous year, flu season is heating up.

Those who are particularly vulnerable to complications from influenza include children younger than 5, adults older than 65, pregnant women, residents in nursing homes or other care facilities, and those with an underlying illness.

The child, who has not been identified for privacy reasons, lived in the "central region of the state" and died in late December, the New Jersey Department of Health said in a news release.

Flu Activity Widespread Across United States, CDC Says
Marion County Public Health Department is requesting that hospitals in Marion County begin temporary restrictions for visitors. Most family physicians, pediatrician offices, primary care clinics, and pharmacies offer the influenza vaccine.

The Canadian health agency reports 43% of the cases in Ontario so far this season are children, compared to about 20% a year ago.

Although flu cases are climbing, the numbers are still well behind those reported at this time past year, when the nation was in the midst of one of its most severe flu seasons on record. "This year's vaccine is a good match for circulating strains and it is not too late to get the vaccine". While the CDC recommends that people get vaccinated against the flu by the end of October, getting a flu shot later can still be beneficial. "The start of the flu season is unpredictable, and the vaccine takes two weeks to become fully effective".

Last season at that point, 11,275 cases of lab-confirmed flu had been reported.

The flu season is far from over though.

It also highlights the need for influenza vaccine effectiveness estimates and the importance of the U.S. Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness Network in providing updated information for committee recommendations, he said.

As of the end of December, the rate of outpatient visits for influenza-like illnesses (ILIs) had almost doubled from the national baseline, as the 2018-19 influenza (flu) season continues to see a variation of influenza A strains predominately affect the country.

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