Health department offers free flu vaccine - while supplies last

ODH also reports 1,750 new confirmed flu-associated hospitalizations in OH during the first week of January, a significant increase over 925 reported during the last week of December.

In Dallas County, 18 flu-related deaths have been reported this season, according to WFAA.

The Ghana Health Service (GHS) says the outbreak of the Influenza-A H1N1 that occurred at the Kumasi Academy Senior High School has ended. In the days between Christmas and New Year's Day, local health care facilities reported a significant increase in patients testing positive for both Flu A and B strains.

The influenza is in its peak months in January and February, and, during the last week of 2017, "influenza activity increased sharply in the United States", the CDC said.

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H3N2 has been responsible for some of the worst flu seasons in the United States of America in recent years, including the 2006-2007, 2012-2013, and 2014-2015 bouts.

"Flu is hard to predict", said ODH Medical Director Dr. Clint Koenig, in a statement. The county, just like the rest of the state, has seen a spike in flu cases and it has overwhelmed some providers.

The flu is landing more people in the ER than usual. It's still not too late to get vaccinated as the flu season extends until the end of spring.

However, "influenza is a very serious illness, so if you're at high risk or have symptoms such as difficulty breathing, chest pain, dizziness, confusion, persistent vomiting, can not drink fluids, or have flu-like symptoms that improve but then return with fever or worse cough, seek emergency medical care immediately", said Dr. Cara Christ, director of the Department of Health Services.

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National media outlets are reporting that the flu virus is less effective than usual this year, which could be a cause of the severe season. They should promptly seek medical advice if influenza-like symptoms develop so that appropriate treatment can be initiated as early as possible to prevent potential complications.

Although the flu vaccine is typically less than 50 percent effective doctors still recommend it.

"According to the latest data, the now circulating viruses in Hong Kong, including the influenza B and influenza A H1 and H3 viruses, were antigenically similar to the components of the northern hemisphere influenza vaccine adopted in the 2017-18 Government Vaccination Programme and Vaccination Subsidy Scheme", the spokesman said. They can also reduce the symptoms.

"Flu is hard to predict", said Dr. Clint Koenig, Ohio Department of Health medical director. "People are bad about coughing into their hands and then they don't wash their hands, and then, of course, we transmit the flu".

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"Everybody should get their flu vaccination and try to avoid contact with people who may be sick", Manrique said.

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