Severe flu season slams all but one state — CDC

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"We are now in the midst of a very active flu season with much of the nation experiencing widespread and intense activity", CDC Director Brenda Fitzgerald told reporters during a briefing.

"It tends to cause more deaths and more hospitalizations than the other strains", said Dr. Jeffrey Gunzenhauser, Los Angeles County's interim health officer.

More Canadians are coughing, sniffling and sneezing though what health officials say is a flu season with higher than normal activity.

Minnesota has reported its first child death from the flu this season.

But the most recent data show that the proportion of people rushing to their doctors to get treated for the flu has already hit 5.8 percent, which is as high as that number gets during the peak of a really bad flu season, the CDC says.

The rate of hospitalizations for laboratory-confirmed cases of flu doubled last week, rising to 22.7 hospitalizations per 100,000 people, up from 13.7 the prior week.

The health district said in a report released Thursday that a total of seven Washoe County residents have died this flu season dating to October 1.

He says that could mean younger people, who are more susceptible to catching the B strain, may get sick earlier, but it's hard to predict what the rest of the flu season will look like.

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Local cases of the flu are also not subsiding as the emergency room at Cullman Regional is seeing numerous cases each day, said Lindsey Dossey, executive director of marketing and community relations at the hospital.

The London, Birmingham, Sheffield and Leeds branches we spoke to said they were completely out of stock, and could not confirm when new supplies would be received.

Additionally, Franciscan has restricted NICU visitors to parents, and grandparents who received the flu shot at least two weeks prior.

"Basically, protect other people", he said. Any protection is better than none.

"We have a lot of flu season to get through still", Jernigan said.

National health officials predict the flu vaccine may only be about 32 percent effective this year.

According to CDC director Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald, "While our flu vaccines are far from ideal, they are the best way to prevent getting sick from the flu, and it is not too late to get one".

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