Marion County hospitals to temporarily restrict visitors due to high flu activity

As flu outbreak numbers rise, the HSE says it's not too late to get your vaccine

The Toledo-Lucas County Health Department says they are experiencing an uptick in hospitalizations due to the flu.

A New Jersey child has died of the flu, marking the first pediatric flu death of the 2018-2019 season in the state.

"Last year it went all the way into spring", said Dr. Vincent Lee with Paragould Family Care. So with the flu, you're going to have a high-grade fever, 101 degrees or higher.

What makes this spike in activity more significant is data that many adults have put off getting the flu vaccine.

The medical community typically starts encouraging the public to get an influenza vaccine around the end of September or early October. The 74-year-old man was vaccinated but the 64-year-old man was not, the county said.

"The benefits of getting a flu shot are not only that you protect yourself, but you're protecting others around you too", Price said.

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However, overall the province has given 278,000 doses of the vaccine, up eight per cent from a year ago.

According to the CDC website, vaccines are recommended to contain H1N1, H3N2 and Victoria lineage-all different types of influenza. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 19 states are reporting high levels of flu activity.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

According to the American Lung Association, this respiratory illness affects 5% to 20% of the U.S. population each year. Research has shown that vaccination significantly reduces the risk of death in children. So far, the current vaccine appears to have worked well in that region and is performing better than last year's vaccine. But there are a number of reasons to get vaccinated now if you haven't done so already.

Since September, PHAC says 414 children under age 16 have been hospitalized for flu, with the highest estimated rate of admission among kids under five years of age. In order to get the vaccine on the market in time, scientists have to predict the strains months in advance. The vaccine takes one to two weeks to start working. However, children, pregnant women, the elderly, and people suffering with certain diseases are most at risk.

Thomas suggested other ways to help prevent contracting the flu is individuals should wash their hands, cover their cough, and if they are ill, they should stay home.

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