Flu death toll rises to six as virus 'now circulating more intensely'

Flu death toll rises to six as virus 'now circulating more intensely'

Flu death toll rises to six as virus 'now circulating more intensely'

Flu season lasts until May.

Kaiser noted it's not too late to get vaccinated against influenza.

The swine flu is the main strain of virus circulating.

According to the Ohio Department of Public Health, there have been about 200 hospitalizations due to flu statewide so far this season, far below the five year average.

Dr. Siiri Bennett, state epidemiologist at the Maine CDC, said that flu season is unpredictable, and can peak at any time.

The health department tracks reports of flu-like illnesses across the county in hospitals, assisted-living centers and schools. For those who get a flu shot and still contract influenza, symptoms tend to be milder and not last as long, research has shown. "It's just a slow upward, so we're only at the beginning of flu season right now". "This year, the predominant strain we're seeing is H1N1", Shahab said. "Even if you think you had the flu already, it is possible to get a second infection with a different strain, so immunization can still be beneficial".

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So far in North Carolina, there have been 10 flu-related deaths this flu season. "Flu activity can last until April or May and the flu vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and others around you from influenza".

Health officials are urging residents to get a flu vaccine, as it is the best way to protect yourself against the potentially risky virus.

That also goes for healthy adults who are in close contact with people in those groups or with babies under six months of age who are too young to be inoculated against influenza, she said.

"So we would like everybody who's eligible to get the vaccine", said Russell, noting that it takes about two weeks for antibodies induced by the shot to come into full effect.

Officials did not release the child's age, gender and hometown.

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