Beaumont restricts visitors at all eight hospitals in health system

Beaumont restricts visitors at all eight hospitals in health system

Beaumont restricts visitors at all eight hospitals in health system

CDC officials say the flu has hit 49 states hard already this year, leaving only Hawaii and Washington, D.C., untouched by what they are calling the worst flu season in years. These viruses are often linked to more severe illness, especially among children and people age 65 and older.

- A spike in flu cases in NY and across the country has health officials urging people to get influenza vaccine if they haven't done so already. The city of Roanoake is aiming to get everyone vaccinated, by offering the shot for free at their fire station.

So far 43 schools and 55 long-term care facilities in the state have reported outbreaks, though epidemiologists note those numbers only reflect the cases that were bad enough to force a clinic or hospital visit-meaning thousands more cases are likely going uncounted. Friday, the agency said seven more children have died from flu complications, bringing the total number to 20 pediatric deaths.

"Classic influenza is upper respiratory, so coughing, sore throat, runny nose, but we have also been seeing nausea and vomiting associated with those upper respiratory symptoms as well", she said. There has been some talk about the vaccine not being that effective this year.

Five of the eight had underlying health conditions, and all eight were at least 61 years old. The B strain started circulating much earlier than usual, the public health agency said. "There's nearly no area in the county that's seen no influenza activity at this point".

H3N2 typically does produce an increased number of hospitalizations and deaths, Goldman said, and it has been making its mark in Pennsylvania, too. That being said, the CDC still said getting a flu shot is one of the best steps you should take. While cases of influenza are not reportable, influenza-related deaths are reported to IDPH.

Dr. Harkins says covering your mouth when you cough with the inner-side of your elbow and washing your hands are good ways to prevent spreading the virus.

The DPH urged people to still get the vaccine because it can still help.

Officials say the predominant flu strain this season is AH3N2, and it can cause serious illnesses, hospitalization, and even death.

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