Flu cases starting to surge, with kids and teens especially vulnerable: doctors

Leslie Hanson
January 10, 2019

The risk of developing complications is higher in those who are over the age of 65 or those who have chronic medical conditions like heart disease and asthma, according to the CDC. Last year, the flu killed more than 80,000 Americans, including a record 185 children. However, health officials say the flu shot works better against that strain.

Nearly half the cases in Ontario are the H1N1 strain which affects children, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada report. The new policy will take effect this week as the 2018-2019 flu season continues to peak.

Moore said physicians at CHEO are seeing cases of RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) and other viruses as well as some flu.

Three of those deaths have been unvaccinated children under the age of five.

It marks the second flu-related death reported so far in Riverside County after a 60-year-old Riverside man died from flu-related complications in November.

The timing of seasonal flu outbreaks vary and can begin as early as late October.

"We're really just now getting into our flu season", said Dr. Michelle Murti of Public Health Ontario, noting that the proportion of tests on people with respiratory bugs that came back positive for influenza had doubled to 16 per cent in the week ending December 29, compared to eight per cent the week before.

"It is recommended that people still get the flu vaccination if they have not already", said infectious disease expert Dr. David Cennimo of Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. Vaccines protect against multiple flu strains. "This year, the predominant strain we're seeing is H1N1", Shahab said. "Less often, a person might get flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes". It also misstated the percentage of children that make up B.C.'s population.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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