Still time to get flu shots: Sherlock

Experts say peak flu season is near, but there are hopes this year won't be as bad as last year.

Starting this week, hospital employees and volunteers who did not get a flu shot must wear masks.

CDC officials say there were 510 confirmed influenza cases through January 5 - down from 768 during the same time period in 2017-2018. Residents should also remember that it takes about two weeks for the flu shot to take full effect.

According to the province's influenza surveillance report, six people have died of the flu as of December 29, and the Ministry of Health has confirmed three were children under the age of five.

"While most children do well with the flu, if they are home [recovering] for three or four days, if the signs of symptoms progress, it is important to seek urgent care", Shahab said.

In short, there is still time for you to get your flu shot and keep influenza at bay during this year's flu season which would be led by H1N1 influenza strain which is threatening kids and young adults more than other segments of the population. Influenza can have symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches and fatigue, public health officials said.

FLU-v is a broad spectrum influenza vaccine that targets regions in the influenza virus that are conserved among many different influenza strains.

Q: How do you and your team measure how well the vaccine is protecting people against the flu in a given year?

Bennett said preliminary indications are that "vaccines are very well matched for the strain" this season.

With the start of the new year, flu season has been picking up across the country. To shorten wait times, you can also schedule a flu shot at a time convenient for you by calling 419-774-4700. Most of the deaths occurred in patients who were over the age of 65.

"We can calculate that if about half the people exposed to the flu couldn't get infected and pass it on because they're immune, for example, the virus wouldn't be able to spread and the epidemic would stop". The CDC's Twitter account is also a helpful resource to stay on top of the latest information about this year's flu.

The CDC recommends that everyone 6-months-old and older get a flu shot every year. You can stay healthy this season for those children and elderly individuals in your life who are more at-risk for becoming critically ill if you pass the virus on to them.

The swine flu is the main strain of virus circulating.

Vanessa Coleman

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