Flu claims life of second North Carolina child

Sick student with his head down on his desk

Criteria include displaying symptoms of a lower respiratory illness, and having either traveled to China recently or come in contact with someone known to have the virus.

Staying healthy during the flu season is more than covering a cough and hand washing.

NCCU senior mass communication major and medical technician Danielle Patterson said she receives the flu vaccine annually along with her 14-year-old daughter.

A subgroup of the B virus seems to be causing the most trouble, according to tests ran in New Orleans where 1,200 cases of influenza B were diagnosed between July 31 and November 21, 2019. Influenza B is considered to be more risky for children, according to the state health department. "For comparison, the transmissibility of seasonal influenza is much lower than that...for every person who has influenza, they tend to transmit it to a little over one person, on average".

Malheur County Health Department officials said the flu is still active locally. "And that again has to do with hypoviruses that are circulating, most of which hit the younger population", says Tom Haupt, who's coordinating influenza surveillance for the Department of Health Services.

Of the statewide total of almost 1700 hospitalizations this flu season, Tulsa County leads with 451, far ahead of Oklahoma County with 265.

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Sixty-eight people across the state have died from influenza-related symptoms, the state said, including four last week. People should cover their mouths or noses when they sneeze or cough, tissue should be used in this case and then discarded after; otherwise, one should sneeze into their elbow to keep germs from spreading, Chirico said.

Wisconsin has recorded its second child death of the flu season. Many students on campus have experienced the flu or flu-like illnesses since the start of the semester.

"The flu has spread rapidly through the school, and with so many kids and teachers calling out sick, we believe it is a good idea to take the day to disinfect everything", the school wrote in a Facebook post.

The flu virus can remain alive on a hard surface for up to 24 hours. The flu virus only remains alive on your skin for 20 minutes.

That's why Haupt says it's still not too late to get a flu shot. Even though this year's flu vaccine is not the best match for the B subgroup, it should still help prevent the flu for most people.

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