Doctors say flu cases starting to surge, with children especially vulnerable

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

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

A New Jersey child has died of the flu, marking the first pediatric flu death of the 2018-2019 season in the state.

Health officials urged state residents to get flu shots and take precautions during flu seasons, including washing your hands frequently, covering any coughs and sneezes and staying home if you are sick.

In most cases, people should not visit the emergency room for flu symptoms but may call their doctor. Flu shots are $20 for everyone age 2 and older.

The state Department of Health announced Tuesday the child from central New Jersey died in late December.

Dr. Walshak says he expects to see more flu cases around the country. Among the 10 regions, the Atlanta-based region (including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee) reported the greatest rate of respiratory specimens positive for flu observed in clinical laboratories (19.5%), well above the national rate of 13.7%.

Last year, Georgia experienced one of the worst flu seasons in recent history.

"We're hoping its a good sign that it will be a less severe year but there's really no way to know until the season is over".

While H1N1-predominant seasons tend to be milder overall at the population level compared to those characterized primarily by H3N2, individuals who get hit with either strain won't detect much of a difference - both bring on fever, cough, general malaise and achy muscles and joints, she said from Vancouver. "Get your flu shot and get protected".

Those in at-risk groups include people aged 65 and old, pregnant women and people with chronic diseases.

While the past flu season was noted it for its higher rate of severe infections-due to the mutated strain being less affected by vaccination strains-clinicians compared it to similarly hard seasons, including the 2014-15 and 2012-13 seasons. "It's the best protection that we have to give people against the flu", said Russell, adding that children and adolescents, adults with underlying lung or heart conditions and the elderly should make sure they are immunized.

Because the peak period came later this season, it is likely to extend to the middle or end of next month, he said.

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