McHenry County health official says flu season not at peak, encourages vaccinations

10 January, 2019, 19:40 | Author: Kara Nash
  • Health officials Still time to get a flu shot as illness numbers increase

That year, Clark County didn't enter active flu season until the end of January, and stayed above the 10 percent threshold until spring.

ME and New Hampshire were the only New England states with lower levels of flu activity through the end of December, the latest federal comparison data available, while most of the South already had been hit hard by the flu.

Peak flu season is starting now, and doctors say to get ready for a potentially extended season.

"We are seeing numbers rise in our region", said Dr. Irfan Hafiz, an infectious disease specialist who serves as chief medical officer of the northwest region of Northwestern Medicine. For those who get a flu shot and still contract influenza, symptoms tend to be milder and not last as long, research has shown.

Local health department contact information can be found here and information on flu vaccination clinics can be found here.


Hafiz said the flu shot does not cause an illness.

Ontario got off to slower start to the season compared to Alberta, for instance, which began getting hit with the respiratory illness in late October, early November.

The HSE is urging all people in at-risk groups for the flu to get vaccinated if they have not done so already.

This is due in part to H1N1, known as the swine flu, being the dominant strain this year.

MA has had about 2,200 confirmed influenza cases through the first week of January this season, according to MA state data. "It's the best protection that we have to give people against the flu", said Russell, adding that children and adolescents, adults with underlying lung or heart conditions and the elderly should make sure they are immunized. There were about 80,000 estimated deaths, including 180 children - the most since the CDC started using its latest surveillance procedures.

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