In the US, influenza activity has significantly increased over recent weeks with the Influenza A (H3N2) virus strain predominating. Despite these painful symptoms, most people will recover in less than two weeks.
Public Health will be conducting a statewide flu vaccine awareness campaign "Start 2018 Off On the Right Foot" beginning in January to educate the public and remind everyone it is not too late to get the flu vaccine.
"If you cough or sneeze, do so into a tissue".
"The last couple of years we didn't see it in December, but a few years back we did", she said.
People who are overweight or obese.
Along with other surveillance components, influenza-like illness is tracked as part of the CDC's ILINet program with the help of volunteer sentinel providers comprised of private providers, occupational health providers, student health clinics and emergency departments.
The CDC has recommended three main antivirals: oseltamivir (sold under the brand name Tamiful, ) zanamivir (Relenza), and peramivir, all of which the CDC says contain a strain of H3N2 which should be effective against this year's version.
Health experts recommend that vulnerable populations especially, including children, pregnant women, older residents and people with medical complications, get vaccinated.
The IDPH recommendation is in response to state influenza activity level, which is now listed as "widespread". The health department has also provided nearly 3,000 doses of the flu vaccine to clinics throughout Long Beach to distribute to their patients.
Dallas County health officials reiterated the importance of taking precautions to stay healthy and avoid becoming ill - including getting the flu vaccine. Also, the influenza vaccine effectiveness is generally lower against the A (H3N2) strain.
Americans are catching the flu earlier than usual this year - and the recent cold spell gripping the country, as well as a low efficacy associated with this year's flu vaccine, might be to blame, according to a new report.
"Walk in and roll up your sleeve", said Schaffner.
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