“We know when that strain is the predominant strain, we know that it’s going to be a more severe season”, Lopez said.
That number compares to 101 influenza A cases and 64 influenza B cases reported in 2016, she said, adding, “We’re doing better on B”.
The timing of peak activity varies from year to year.
According to a news release, almost 200 new cases and 40 hospitalizations have emerged over the past two weeks.
Katherine Killen with the Knox County Health Department said Knox County is seeing a steady increase in flu activity, which is typical for this time of year.
Glenda Perez made sure her two young children got their flu shots.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends flu shots annually for everyone at least 6 months old. The flu is contagious, and you can catch it from someone who hasn’t yet shown symptoms. According to the CDC, among those with influenza A subtype information, 396 (87.0%) were A (H3N2) and 59 (13.0%) were A (H1N1) pdm09 virus.
Flu shots are now widely available in physician’s offices and pharmacies across the province.
A McLean County resident is one of those who died.
Flu is widespread in the Tri-Cities region, the two health groups announced in a press release Thursday morning.
The holiday season brings gifts, gatherings and good cheer, but it also can speed up the transmission of the seasonal flu virus.
“The Morgan County Health Department is out of its allotment of the adult vaccine”, said Michael Glenn, assistant area administrator.
“This is a sensible way to prevent the spread of the flu”, said Jerri Cortese, director of communications and public relations at St. Mary’s Healthcare in Amsterdam.
The same guidelines just announced were developed and temporarily implemented in previous years to address influenza outbreaks.
The Centers for Disease Control continues to recommend an annual flu vaccine for all people ages six months and older. It has also seen both A and B strains of the flu at the same time.
Early surveillance from the Public Health Agency of Canada points to H3N2 as the dominant strain so far. He says despite the large numbers now, it doesn’t necessarily mean the season totals will be more than usual.