10 people have died of the flu in SLO County

Adjust Comment Print

"The flu vaccine is the best public health tool we have, and an annual flu shot is recommended to everyone over 6 months", said Dr. Wilma Wooten, director of the county's public health services.

Though Chen says this year's flu shot is weaker than in years past, but says that shouldn't mean a person doesn't get it.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports the flu is now widespread in 46 states, almost four times as many compared with this time previous year.

Dr. Perry Kendall, British Columbia's provincial health officer, says the national number of flu cases is slightly above average, but what's unusual is the strain people are contracting.

Even though both hospitals are reporting weekly to the state health department, the exact number of cases in San Angelo and the county are not known.

"These viruses are often linked to more severe illness, especially among children and people age 65 and over", Fitzgerald said.

"The one thing that is different, which is happening across the country, is usually we see Influenza A first and then Influenza B, which usually occurs near the end of the season in March or April".

According to Dallas County Health officials, those five people all lived in Dallas County. If soap and water aren't available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.

A unsafe flu has been spreading rapidly across the USA, escalating flu season earlier than usual, and to near-epidemic levels, according to the CDC.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

It's not advised to see your doctor if you think you may have flu, as the virus could spread to other people in the waiting room.

One reason is the flu season may just be peaking earlier this year than it did last year.

Sentara family medicine and internal medicine practices have the vaccines for $75 out of pocket, but individuals without insurance can get the shot for $37.50, according to Sentara spokeswoman Kelsea Smith.

It takes about 2 weeks following the administration of the vaccine for the recipient to develop protection from the flu.

"The symptoms of Aussie flu are essentially the same as normal flu, but can be more severe", said Now Healthcare Group's Medical Director, Dr Ben Coyle.

According to the TDH, people can be sick with the flu and transmit it up to 24 hours before they feel symptoms.