The number of flu cases in the Houston area and across Texas continue to rise without an end in sight. According to an LA Times article, "Hospitals have been sending away ambulances, flying in nurses from out of State and not letting children visit their love ones for fear they'll spread the flu".
Health officials are urging people to wash their hands and avoid close with everyone, as some may have the virus without showing symptoms.
"Unfortunately there is still a significant portion of the population that does not get immunized, for whatever reason", said Dr. Henry Dorkin, president of the Massachusetts Medical Society. However, with more than two dozen pediatric deaths reported since October, many regions have declared a state of emergency.
Legacy treats patients regardless of their ability to pay and often treat those who have jobs that do not offer health insurance. This can keep the flu virus from being spread to other vulnerable patients, she said. Well, if you take them to the dog park, doggy day care and even the groomer, the answer is yes.
"We would recommend that they not be present at work", Dr. Barnes said. "It's transmitted easily from dog to dog, and can happen when dogs are barking, sneezing or even playing with the same toy", he says. DPH strongly encourages all CT residents over the age of 6 months to get a flu shot. Pharmacies and drug stores still have plenty in stock, and flu season is far from over.
The flu presents trouble, especially to the elderly.
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"There's probably been a higher concern for it lately, as we have seen more cases in OH this year", said Dr. Michael Haddad with Avon Lake Animal Clinic. However, there's the chance that the strain now hitting the United Kingdom will have mutated in transit, potentially rendering the vaccine ineffective.
The child, whose age and hometown have not been released, tested positive for the flu, but the Larimer County Coroner's Office is waiting for results on other tests to confirm that the virus caused the death.
"If you have not had the opportunity yet to get your flu shot this year, please visit our clinic this Thursday", said Norwalk Director of Health, Deanna D'Amore, MPH.
The good news is once you've been infected by a specific strain (say influenza A H3N2), your immune response is likely strong enough that you won't get that same strain again (unless you're severely immune suppressed).
They estimate that the virus hasn't reached its peak yet, with the strongest strain a version of an "animal flu strain" which is estimated to be the next human threat.