One person has died and there has already been more than 176 confirmed cases of influenza in Marin County during the current outbreak of the disease, according to the Marin County Department of Health and Human Services.
Public health officials have announced eight more flu-related deaths in Iowa. "It's not too late to get vaccinated", Marin County Public Health Officer Dr. Matthew Willis said.
Health officials also urged people to continue to practice good hygiene such as hand washing, covering coughs and sneezes, not touching the eyes, nose, or mouth, and staying home if sick.
"This is a bad flu season", Dr. Dan Jernigan, director of the influenza division of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said in a conference call Friday. It comes on suddenly and symptoms may include fever, headache, tiredness, cough, sore throat, nasal congestion and body aches. When H3 viruses are predominant, we tend to have a worse flu season with more hospitalizations and more death.
CT is still four to six weeks out from peak flu season, but in just the last three months the state has seen more than one thousand confirmed flu cases.
It's not advised to see your doctor if you think you may have flu, as the virus could spread to other people in the waiting room. Anyone who has the flu should be fever-free for at least 24-hours before returning to work or school. Routine cleaning and disinfection in the home and workplace are also important to reduce flu risks. Werker noted the criticism about the effectiveness of this year's flu shot.
Even though we're at the peak, we likely have 11 to 13 more weeks left in the flu season. The children's vaccine is available at all of DCHHS' immunization clinics.
Safranek recommended people seek a doctor and get a prescription for antibiotics if they get the flu.