Flu 'widespread' in Pennsylvania — CDC

Flu 'widespread' in Pennsylvania — CDC

Flu 'widespread' in Pennsylvania — CDC

The number of categorized states jumped from just 12 the week before.

Flu is widespread in Arizona, with 2,629 more cases reported than this time previous year, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.

The HHSA's weekly "Influenza Watch" report noted that the jump coincided with an uptick of cases at long-term care facilities.

Flu cases locally and nationwide have spiked this season and concerns are growing over a new strain of the virus that is overpowering vaccines. In some regions, cases had risen eight-fold by early December compared with previous year and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has noted a high number of cases in 12 states.

Reports have shown the flu vaccine has only been 10% effective this season. Everyone age six months or older is urged to receive the flu vaccine. The most common side effects from the influenza vaccine are soreness, redness, or swelling at the site of the injection and, in some cases, a low-grade fever, headache or muscle ache. So, Dr. Milton says knowing what to watch for is important.

If there is one thing we know about flu season, it's that it's always unpredictable.

Raghu Kasetty, MD of OSF St. Francis said the local flu season will presumably get worse before it improves. In fact, we're well in its midst, since flu season dates can range from October to May.

However, doctors are still recommending that people get the shot.

Hafiz stressed the importance of getting vaccinated, especially to protect the young, old and those with medical conditions. "That generally differentiates from a flu to a cold".

Also, washing your hands with soap and water or using hand sanitizer, may help to avoid the flu.

And clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu. The good news here is you can still benefit from the flu shot, and possibly have less severe symptoms and overall case even if you do contract a different strain of the flu given the immunisation protections gotten through the shot.

It's also wise to not attempt to self-diagnose - "Unless a doctor told you that you have the flu, you can not jump to that conclusion".

Dr. Holder also said it is not too late to get a flu shot.

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