Hand washing can keep kids healthy this flu season

The official start of flu season begins when at least 2.2 percent of patients are reporting flu symptoms, a measurement tracked by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "People with the flu also report having a fever, being exhausted, having a sore throat, dry cough, and red, watery eyes".

This season so far, Oklahoma has seen two fatalities from influenza, while five deaths related to the flu were reported in North Carolina.

Health officials are recommending that people get the vaccine even though it's not known how effective it will be.

"The thing that we can do is be vaccinated to protect our loved ones", he said. In 2016, the NEJM reports that flu shots were able to stop H3N2 34 percent of the time. The vaccine could also offer protection against other strains, and, thanks to herd immunity, could help protect more vulnerable people like the elderly.

A spokeswoman for Sanofi Pasteur, a division of Sanofi that produces about 40 percent of the influenza vaccines distributed worldwide, cautioned the research only analyzed Australia. "In fact, in a year where it's low effectiveness, it's even more important that everybody get it so we can get as much resistance and we don't allow the virus to thrive and grow and keep changing".

"This year we are seeing a very rapid increase in influenza-like illness across MA, along with an increase in confirmed flu cases".

"Flu A peaks in January, Flu B a little bit later in February, so it's not too late", Hearn said.

"We're not offering the nasal mist anymore because it is not as effective against the H1N1 strain", she said. "Now, they should get it sooner rather than later, because it takes about two weeks for it to become effective".

Please wash or sanitize your hands frequently while at the hospital. Most people who develop influenza will recover with bed rest and do not need medical care or flu antiviral medications.

“The facilities are usually very easy to work with — they want to respond well to the outbreak, ” Dennison said.

"We are encouraging people who have not been vaccinated to get their flu shot now", said Dr. Joe Iser, Chief Health Officer for the Southern Nevada Health District.

Vanessa Coleman