State health officials act to limit spread of flu at hospitals

Flu shot bandage

Flu shot bandage

Australia in particular has had a miserable season - its largest since 2009, according to the Australian Department of Health.

The 2017-18 flu season may turn out be a pretty rough one, if the early trends hold steady.

Raghu Kasetty, MD of OSF St. Francis said the local flu season will presumably get worse before it improves.

"We could be looking at a peak as early as late January, instead of February or March", Siniscalchi said.

On its web site, the department reported that the robust flu "resulted in a lot of people taking time off work and a significant burden on hospitals, with more than twice the number of people with influenza being admitted than is typical".

The flu is made up of various strands of the virus and, another round of the flu is about to descend.

With flu cases rising at a rapid rate, some experts said the state - and country - could be in for a wild season. And, if current numbers are any indication, the US may see a sharp rise in influenza cases as Americans return from the holidays this year in particular. As of Thursday, 31 positive cases of influenza had been seen at OSF St. Francis.

Infants should receive two doses of the vaccine at least six months apart, the agency said, adding that children born past year or earlier who have received one shot of the vaccine can receive a second shot before they enter elementary school.

"Getting a flu shot is the best way to protect yourself and your family against the flu, and with the disease spreading quickly in Arizona the time to get vaccinated is now", said Dr. Cara Christ, director of the Arizona Department of Health Services.

- avoid close contact with sick people and limit contact with others as much as possible while sick.

It's also wise to not attempt to self-diagnose - "Unless a doctor told you that you have the flu, you can not jump to that conclusion". Then throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.

- wash their hands regularly with soap and water.

Try to avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth as germs spread this way. Anyone who is sick with the flu should go to his or her primary doctor or to an urgent care, not the emergency room unless there is an emergency. Last season the flu vaccine was about 43% effective against H3N2 in the United States, and the authors anticipate similar effectiveness this season.

Some people thing the flu vaccine can give you the flu but medical practitioners say it can't.

Latest News