Peak flu season claims 3 Sask. children

The flu vaccine is drawn from the vile into the needle at Crawford Kids Clinic in Aurora Colorado

HSE's Assistant National Director for Public Health and Director of the Health Protection Surveillance Centre, Dr Kevin Kelleher, explains that data shows that flu levels are likely to increase over the coming weeks when flu begins to actively circulate in the community.

A 64-year-old man also died from complications due to influenza A on January 3.

H1N1 has been the most common strain of the virus seen so far this season, which experts anticipate will be milder than last year's strain. The predominant strain now circulating is H1N1, which is affecting younger age groups more than strains that have circulated in previous years.

State health officials have confirmed the first death of a New Jersey child associated with the flu this season.

"It's a different season, different profile".

The severity of last year's flu season, which killed an estimated 80,000 people, may be one of the reasons behind the slow start to the 2018-2019 season.

As of December 29, the most recent data available from the Public Health Agency of Canada shows there were 13,796 laboratory-confirmed influenza cases across the country, with the provinces and territories reporting 1,046 hospitalizations and 24 deaths.

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There have been 1,723 lab confirmed cases of the flu since September 1. Rates, however, were higher among young children and the elderly (14.5 and 11.9 hospitalizations per 100,000 people, respectively), as these populations are more susceptible to complications of the flu. That's more than double the activity of the previous week.

Seventy-one of those kids had to be admitted to the ICU.

Children less than two years old and adults older than 65.

A total of 13 children have died so far this flu season.

"We would encourage everyone to get the flu shot, especially if they are at higher risk", said Dr. Genevieve Cadieux, associate medical officer of health at Ottawa Public Health. While the CDC recommends that people get vaccinated against the flu by the end of October, getting a flu shot later can still be beneficial.

Flu vaccine critics, including naturopathy practitioners, argue that mercury, detergents and other additives sometimes packed into the shots can do more harm than good.

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

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