Flu cases on the rise in Mason County

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Flu cases on the rise in Mason County

Flu season is well on its way to peaking early. Friday's report stressed that the most vulnerable groups are people over 65 and children younger than five.

This is really record-breaking.

Over the past week, cases of influenza rose by 37 percent, and new cases of influenza were reported in 61 of 62 counties - with rates highest in Central New York, according to state statistics. "It's the highest it's been this early in the season, and it's the highest it's been period".

CDC officials said 20 influenza-associated pediatric deaths have been reported this season, including two children in Florida.

"Starting about two and a half weeks ago we began to see a significant uptick in the number of emergency room visits directly related to the flu".

"Of course, normally you wouldn't see Influenza B until later on in the season and we've seen a lot of Influenza B - as much as Influenza A, basically", says Kendall.

Australia was hit with an unusually bad flu season, with far more illnesses and deaths than average.

The flu can cause mild to severe illness. "If we look at similar seasons, there's at least 11 to 13 more weeks of influenza to go".

"It is still not too late to get your flu vaccination".

That same strain is now wreaking havoc on the U.S. Some experts speculate this year's vaccine may only be 10 percent effective against the flu strain.

"If you are experiencing flu-like symptoms, it's important to see a doctor as soon as possible", said Dr. Brendan De Marco, associate director of Infection Control for CommUnityCare Health Centers.

Symptoms of the flu include fever that last three or four days, severe muscle or body aches, chills, severe chest discomfort and cough, headaches and fatigue.

Doctors said there are a lot of great steps people can take to help prevent the flu.

The best protection against the flu is the flu vaccine.

To protect your family and others, always use "respiratory etiquette" such as coughing into your elbow or a tissue rather than your hands, and wash hands frequently with soap and water or with an alcohol-based hand rub.

Health officials also urged people to continue to practice good hygiene such as hand washing, covering coughs and sneezes, not touching the eyes, nose, or mouth, and staying home if sick.

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