As of December 9, around 17.1 percent of Dallas County flu tests reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention came back positive for the virus. In addition, they say medical staff can wash hands often with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand rub - and keep all surfaces clean and disinfected.
The flu virus indirectly resulted in the death of 1,000 people in Ireland last season, according to Mr Kelleher. "Right now it looks to be a real serious flu season, and so we need to make sure everyone practices steps for prevention". Twelve of 17 regions had confirmed flu cases.
The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat and lungs, according to the Health Department.
Have you ever wondered how the flu is spread?
Some 100 years removed, there's no memory of the 1918 H1N1 "Spanish Flu" pandemic that claimed 100 million people worldwide and roughly 600,000 in the U.S. However, some of us do remember the 1957 H2N2 "Asian flu" that killed roughly 70,000 nationwide and the 1968 H3N2 "Honk Kong flu" pandemic that claimed upwards 34,000 people in the U.S.
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The worst of flu season usually peaks in January or February, when kids are going back to school and people are going back to work after the holidays.
Beyond getting a flu shot, there are other things we can do for ourselves and for family, friends, co-workers and the community. It's recommended for children of ages 6 months and older, as well as those people at high risk for complications related to the flu.
"I can come up with studies that say Vitamin D is more effective against influenza than a vaccine", said a nurse.
Since Oct. 1, she said the Peterson Regional Medical Center's emergency room has tallied 34 positive tests for flu; and at the Urgent Care Center on Junction Highway, they have counted 20 flu cases.
Many Arkansans will be getting something they didn't really ask for this Christmas - the flu. If you do get sick, stay home until you're well again, so you don't spread more germs.