Five more people in North Texas have died due to the flu according to health officials. While cases of influenza are not reportable, influenza-related deaths are reported to IDPH. However, those are only cases confirmed by a lab.
"Of course, normally you wouldn't see Influenza B until later on in the season and we've seen a lot of Influenza B - as much as Influenza A, basically", says Kendall. Other strains of the influenza virus, such as type B, may arise, he said.
Further compounding the issue is this year's flu shot.
In Greater Williamsburg, about 80 percent of the cases have been a less severe strain of flu called "H1", Berg said.
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People are also being reminded to still get the flu shot if they haven't done so already.
Tarrant County has also reported three deaths due to the flu, making it nearly 30 people who have died from the influenza virus in North Texas.
"There are huge variations of when the flu activity starts and finishes and when it will peak each year", Doctor Denise Werker, deputy chief medical health officer, confirmed. There have been 49 cases of influenza reported in Kentucky's long-term care centers, the department reported.
Grayson and Nicki Andrews are registered infection prevention nurses at Texas Health Resources, and just last week, they diagnosed 63 positive flu cases, with more to come.
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Officials do not release precise age and location information about those who died, but said all of the 11 people were older than 50.
The other 20 percent of cases have been a serious strain of the flu that's predominant across the nation, Berg said. Unity Point Finley Hospital in Dubuque and Mercy Medical Centers in Dubuque and Dyersville are restricting visitation from all children under 14 and anyone with flu-like symptoms. While it is possible that flu season peaked around the holidays and illnesses will gradually decline, it is also possible that the flu season could get even worse in 2018 before it gets better.
"Those most likely to get it, and to suffer a more severe illness, are the elderly or immunocompromised [long-term steroids, those on immune-modifying drugs or chemotherapy for instance], those with long-term health conditions, children and pregnant ladies". Both Garcia and Grey still recommend getting the flu vaccine because it may reduce the symptoms and the duration of the flu.
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