- This flu season is off to an intense start.
It follows news that Scotland is the worst-hit part of the United Kingdom for the current outbreak.
MS is one of 22 states with a high flu rate in the current flu season. I was on a call with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this morning and they were updating people across the country.
Angela Chalmers, the firm's head pharmacist, said: "We have experienced a significant uplift in demand for flu vaccination appointments across many of our stores in the last week". Given the millions who are vulnerable to flu and the thousands of deaths each year, this is a big payoff in public health.
In a report that was published December 18 by Time, it was reported that the current vaccine may not be as effective for H3N2 because public health officials have to guess which strain of influenza will be the most aggressive in the coming flu season.
There have been 1,850 reported hospitalizations - 68 per cent of which have been seniors. This strain can be particularly hard on the very young, people over age 65, or those with existing medical conditions.
What had some people anxious about this USA flu season was the bad season past year in Australia.
"We have not seen an increase in flu activity this early in the winter in the past five years", said Department of Health Secretary Lynn Gallagher in the NMDOH's January 4 report.
Cone Health leaders say emergency room visits are stacked with people experiencing flu-like symptoms.
"It looks like it's starting to level out", said the CDC's Lynnette Brammer, who oversees flu tracking.
According to the ADPH, flu symptoms typically come on suddenly and can include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches and fatigue.
"While a nuclear detonation is unlikely, it would have devastating results and there would be limited time to take critical protection steps", according to the CDC website.
- 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.
A Scottish Government spokes-woman said: "The most common flu virus being detected is one covered by this year's vaccine".
The vaccine was 48 percent effective in 2016-17 and 59 percent effective in 2015-16, according to the federal CDC.
Please avoid visiting unless you really need to, and if you have a flu-like illness please stay away from our wards in case the infection is spread to patients.
And just as she and her colleagues at Stony Brook are seeing an increase in H3N2 cases of the flu, experts elsewhere on Long Island are seeing a rise in the number of infections attributed to that strain.