Flu season arrives early with widespread outbreaks in 36 states

In the last week of the year 21 states experienced high influenza activity and other five qualified in the moderate range

Flu season arrives early with widespread outbreaks in 36 states

Twenty-one states are now experiencing high amounts of influenza activity and 36 states reported widespread cases, according to new CDC data released Friday, ABC News reported.

The Terre Haute area is not immune, with both Union and Terre Haute Regional hospitals announcing temporary visiting restrictions because of the spread of influenza A. Also affected is Union Hospital Clinton.

Figures released by the CDC Friday show the state is one of 35 in the US where the flu is now considered to be "widespread", meaning there are active outbreaks in all regions. "However, in recent past seasons in which A (H3N2) viruses predominated, hospitalizations and deaths were more common, and the effectiveness of the vaccine was lower", according to a report from the CDC.

While this year's flu season may not be the worst statistically, there are more cases than usual, and East Texas is one of the hot spots.

On a positive note, there were no new influenza outbreaks reported this week at long-term care facilities.

"I choose not to get the flu shot", Washington resident Christine Booker said. Steps people can take to protect themselves from the flu include taking multivitamins, keeping up basic good personal hygiene and staying away - as best as possible - from people who are coughing and sneezing.

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The release did not indicate if anyone in the county over the age of 65 has died of the flu this season.

People who get sick easily or have cancer, diabetes, HIV, autoimmune disorders, transplant patients, people with no spleen, people suffering from severe burns or physical trauma, chronic kidney or liver disease.

She said Central Zone has seen at least 10 flu outbreaks, mostly Influenza A. An outbreak is when at least two people experience similar symptoms within 48 hours. Since 2009, Rush has conducted year-round planning for every flu season that he said has helped mitigate its burden, Segreti said. "It's the time of year we have family gatherings and social gatherings", Stephanie Ayers-Millsap with the Jefferson County Public Health Department said.

The health department can bill insurance, but it also can serve those without insurance as well as those who are under-insured, Keller said. Usually, a flu fever will last from three to five days. "People become protected about two weeks after receiving the vaccine", said Taylor. Fuller's team also was able to direct the T-cells to go to the lungs first, where much of the damage of an influenza infection occurs.

Serious complications can result from flu. Pneumonia, bronchitis, sinus and ear infections are examples of complications from flu.

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