The Flu Is Already Widespread in 36 States, CDC Says

Jacob Andrascik 2 of Guilderland is held by his mother Valerie right as pediatric nurse practitioner Brooke Raveendranath left takes a look in his ear during a medial exam at Capital Care Pediatrics on Thursday afternoon Feb. 9 2017 in Guilderl

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Flu season officially begins in October but this year's particularly unsafe strain, H3N2, has come relatively early and the season has probably not reached its peak yet. Three such prescription medications are approved by the US Food and Drug Administration and recommended this season: oseltamivir, available as Tamiflu or a generic; zanamivir (Relenza); and peramivir (Rapivab).

The CDC says the vaccine can reduce your risk by as much as 60 percent if the circulating virus is close to the vaccine virus.

The ADPH suggests that everyone 6 months and older receive the "quadrivalent vaccine", the flu vaccine that protects against four influenza strains, because one of the strains in circulation in Alabama (Type B/Yamagata) is only included in the quadrivalent vaccine.

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"There's a lot of confusing information being provided from multiple news sources that the flu shot has been only 10 percent effective", says. Influenza vaccine effectiveness has also been lower against A (H3N2) viruses that against influenza A (H1N1) pdm09 or influenza B viruses. CDC noted that influenza activity has increased significantly in recent weeks, with influenza A (H3N2) viruses predominating. There were indications as early as October that this year's primary strain of flu virus had mutated and would render vaccines less effective than normal.

Anyone can get the flu, but it's a big threat to children, pregnant women, and older adults. The name, age, address, and gender of the child are not disclosed to the public.

A new year is beginning with a widespread of flu.

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Thousands of Americans die of the virus each year.

Health officials are urging people to get protected, especially if they're going to be around young children and the elderly, groups who are most at risk.

Achebe said not everyone who gets the flu is asked whether they were immunized, but a few people who got the shot still got sick. Flu symptoms include high fever, body aches, coughing and sore throat. The patients may have come to the emergency room for flu or other reasons and been tested; the numbers don't represent patients admitted to the hospital. Fever usually indicates that someone is contagious, and employees should stay home for another 24 hours after the fever is gone.

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Experts encourage people to cover their faces when they cough and to practice frequent hand washing to prevent the infection from spreading.

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