4 dead, more than 300 hospitalized in Georgia as flu spreads — CDC

Credit WEERAYUT RANMAI 123RF STOCK

Credit WEERAYUT RANMAI 123RF STOCK

According to the CDC, there has been a jump in hospitalizations in young children and people over 50.

The hospital did not say when the restrictions would be lifted, but encourages people to be aware of flu-like symptoms, which include fever, cough, sore throat, runny/stuffy nose, muscle aches, chills and fatigue.

"We don't want to hand it out to everyone, we will create resistance if we do that", said Barret Procyshyn, president of Pharmacists Manitoba.

Data from some mid-Missouri counties show the number of confirmed flu cases doubled compared to the 2016-17 flu season.

- During the first week of January (7 days): 310 people were tested who presented with flu-like symptoms, with 78 testing positive.

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"This strain is associated with more cases and more hospitalizations and more deaths", Jernigan said. Carter said "We first started to see a steep increase in the number of hospitalizations in the 2 week of December and it's been going up since then".

According to the Amarillo Public Health Department, there have been 3,303 cases in Randall and Potter counties alone.

CDC officials said there are also spot shortages of antiviral medicines in parts of the country with lots of flu.

Flu season in the United States is usually in the wintertime between September and May.

"If the significant percentage of this population hasn't been vaccinated you have a greater number of individuals that are susceptible to influenza", Echols said.

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"Someday, of course, we hope to have a universal flu vaccine, one that attacks all influenza type viruses and provides protection that lasts for years", Fitzgerald said.

"So we're not yet in peak season and what we're hearing from hospitals across the state is that they have no extra beds and they are full of patients that have influenza like symptoms", Cartter said.

However, there is no evidence so far the "Aussie flu" strain - which was circulating here last winter and led to a severe season of illness - is more aggressive this year.

"The vaccine doesn't necessarily prevent you from getting influenza, but it does prevent you from getting sick and missing school, missing work, getting hospitalized and getting admitted to the intensive care unit and potentially dying", Mateo said. Doctors said the issue with this year's flu is that the flu shot is only about 10 percent effective. If you're feeling sick, don't assume it's too late to get treatment with an anti-viral drug like Tamiflu.

Anyone who hasn't already had a flu shot should get one, Kendall added. He recommended people take precautions to avoid getting the virus.

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