Experts concerned as flu-related deaths continue to rise in Arkansas

Faith Castro
February 8, 2018

A Michigan child has died of the flu, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services reported Wednesday.

New numbers show that flu-related illnesses continue to rise not only in Spokane but around the country, as health experts urge people to get vaccinated.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health said the number of cases in Allegheny County from October 1 to February 3 totaled 6,286, compared with 5,252 for the previous reporting period ending January 27.

For the entire 2016-17 flu season, there were 5,830 reported cases, 1,151 hospitalizations and 71 deaths in Maine.

Smith also said that the number of deaths likely will get much higher before the season is over.

"Older adults, individuals with chronic health conditions, pregnant women, young children and infants are more vulnerable to flu illness", said Dr. Christopher Perkins, DCHHS health authority/medical director.

The flu season can last from 11 to 20 weeks, Schuchat said, adding that it's hard to say if the worst of the season has come and gone.

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There has been some of the highest hospitalization rates ever recorded according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Arkansas Department of Health has deemed this flu season the worst in almost two decades after nearly 30 more people have died since last week.

Leonard stresses that the flu shot is still our best defense against the flu.

"We're probably about at the peak now, hopefully", Turner said at a health board meeting Tuesday.

Flu is a contagious respiratory illness with symptoms such as fever, chills, aches, cough and sore throat. These people can still transmit the flu to people whose immune systems are not as strong, and are encouraged to get the shot to prevent that from happening.

If sick with the flu contact your health care provider early because early treatment can impact the course of the disease. Often people do have the flu, but their bodies handle it so well that the symptoms seem like something mild.

Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu.

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