As flu epidemic spreads, 11 deaths reported in San Diego County, Calif.

As flu epidemic spreads, 11 deaths reported in San Diego County, Calif.

As flu epidemic spreads, 11 deaths reported in San Diego County, Calif.

Vernon said the best defenses for fighting the flu are washing hands and receiving a flu shot.

The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) on Friday issued an alert of increased influenza (flu) activity across the state.

The state's other tips to stay healthy are common sense: Wash your hands, stay away from sick people and, if you do get sick, don't go around and spread the virus.

Four strains of Influenza are circulating at the present time but most of the attention has only been on the H3N2 predominant strain, representing about 70 percent of the patients.

WKYT-TV reports that Lexington-Fayette County Health Department Communications Officer Kevin Hall says all three had other health complications, but flu was the ultimate cause of their deaths.

This year's vaccine isn't as effective as usual, but it can still prevent you from getting some versions of the flu.

Global surveillance is crucial to pandemic preparedness by identifying viruses overseas that might pose a human health risk to people in the United States

The same strain was primarily responsible for sickening more than 1,000 people in Australia, where health officials estimated that vaccines only prevented some 10 percent of strains.

Health officials say despite the rise in cases, there have been no deaths from the flu this year.

This week alone, 172 people were hospitalized due to the flu.

Try to avoid close contact with sick people.

For the week of December 17-23, 241 people had lab-confirmed flu in Greene County. The vaccine is changed every year to include a mixture of strains of the virus that circulated in prior years.

"We're not considering this an outbreak, but an uptick looking at the level of activity and severity of the illness", Dr. Michael Vernon, NorthShore University HealthSystem director of infection prevention and control, told the Journal. Antivirals are especially important for at-risk patients, including: kids under 2 years old and adults over 65, pregnant women, people with asthma, and patients with weakened immune systems.

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