Four flu-related deaths in Medina County this season

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

Influenza-associated intensive care unit admissions, influenza-associated pediatric deaths and influenza outbreaks in long-term care facilities are reported to the county health department's communicable disease staff. Emergency room cases are sent to the county via the Electronic Surveillance System for the Early Notification of Community-based Epidemics.

During the same timeframe, there were only two reported deaths from influenza a year ago.

Maine ended the 2017-18 flu season with 9,018 cases and 82 deaths, the Maine CDC reported, the worst flu season in at least five years.

There have been 1,723 lab confirmed cases of the flu since September 1. "This year's vaccine is a good match for circulating strains and it is not too late to get the vaccine".

"So we're probably on track to coming up to more of our peak activity in the next couple of weeks or so".

"We are seeing the shift from the elderly people in the last couple of years, while this year is more of a younger demographic", said Dr. Silvina Mema, Interior Health Medical Health Officer.

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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.

"We knew this virus affects more children, pregnant women, and not the seniors particularly".

Shahab said this strain first appeared in 2009 and was the dominant strain three years ago.

Despite the severity of this year's flu, Mema says those experiencing flu symptoms don't need to rush to the hospital.

The doctor said only 35 per cent of children aged six months to 23 months have been immunized.

However, overall the province has given 278,000 doses of the vaccine, up eight per cent from previous year. "The most important thing is to get vaccinated ahead of time".

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