Medicine

Laredo Health Department sees a rise in flu cases

Laredo Health Department sees a rise in flu cases

In Riverside County, the flu is not quite as widespread.

They say influenza-like illness activity is double what it was at this time a year ago with the current flu season not yet at its peak. About 2,500 laboratory-confirmed cases were reported the week of Christmas, bringing the number by the end of 2017 to almost 8,000, according to an Arizona Department of Health Services report.

Dr. Gonzalez says, "If they start with flu like symptoms like fever, cough, extreme muscle aching they should see their doctors, especially if you're elderly or you're very young, because children under five are very susceptible".

Nationally, there have been 12 pediatric deaths from the flu. In the same time previous year, 140 cases were reported.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services announced Thursday that there have been seven more flu deaths, raising this season's total to 20. But it's hard to compare one flu season with another, he said.

"The strains we have been seeing are "influenza A's" and they're H3N2's", said Whitney. Dukes says it isn't too late to get a shot since flu season can run well into the spring in Oklahoma.

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The CDC recommends that anyone over 6 months of age get a flu shot.

Since September 1st, more than 600 people have been hospitalized in Oklahoma with the flu and 13 have died.

"We're about two weeks ahead of where we were past year", she said.

Infectious Disease Specialist with the Missoula County Health Department, Pam Whitney, said one specific strain of the flu has been hard to contain.

She also stressed the importance of staying home instead of going into work if you're sick, for your own protection and the protection of others.

Contact Mikayla Mace at 573-4158 and Stephanie Innes at 573-4134.