Flu Cases Increasing In Our Area

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To date, six of the Arkansas flu deaths were in the 45-64 age group and one over the age 65. All three had underlying health issues. There were no recent cases of H1N1 in Jackson County, Landrum said.

Flu season has officially begun.

No new flu deaths were reported in Oklahoma last week, but 11 so far this season.

As cases of the flu continue to increase in Florida, many people are left wondering if they have the cold or the flu.

Arkansas and Oklahoma have lost 21 people to the flu since September. "They are always at the highest risk of death along with the very elderly", Skolnik said. "This is an unfortunate and solemn reminder that the flu can be deadly".

In February of a year ago, the flu vaccine advisory group of the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended changing two of the four components for the flu vaccine administered in the Northern Hemisphere.

Monto also urges more people to take advantage of antiviral drugs, which work best in the first two days of the illness.

In addition to getting the flu vaccine, there are other ways to protect yourself from getting the flu. When tissues are not readily available, cough into your sleeve, not your hands.

When you are sick, try to limit your contact with others. This is particularly important for those who feel very sick, are pregnant or have chronic medical conditions.

Symptoms that could be early signs of the flu include fever, headache, cough, extreme dehydration, lightheadedness and shortness of breath. Some people get complications including pneumonia, bronchitis and sinus and ear infections.

According to the CDC, in past flu seasons when the match between flu vaccine and circulating strains of flu virus is close, a flu shot is between 60 to 70 percent effective.

Save a life with the flu vaccine. But two people in Wisconsin have died from the flu this season.

Louisiana is one of nine states (Alabama, Colorado, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, New Jersey, New Mexico, South Carolina and New York) with high flu activity. For more information about the flu, visit flu.delaware.gov/ or call DPH at 1-800-282-8672. The CDC recommends widespread vaccination as a cost-effective guard against pandemics.