Health Care

NM Dept. of Health: Flu cases double up in New Mexico

NM Dept. of Health: Flu cases double up in New Mexicoā€¯

One of the flu strains circulating this year - H3N2 - has been dubbed "Aussie flu" because it is the same strain that caused problems during the flu season in the Southern Hemisphere.

On the Mainland, the flu season runs from October to May, but Hawaii gets flu year-round, according to Hawaii health officials.

"People who are sick should stay home from holiday gatherings where influenza and other illness can spread".

That figure is representative of those who have come forward as having the flu, so the number could potentially be much higher.

Influenza (flu) symptoms include sudden high fever, headache, dry cough, chills and/or severe body aches and fatigue.

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While flu is unpredictable, the peak season typically lasts about a month, she said.

Louisiana Department of Health Officials and the CDC urge people over the age of 6 months old and who do not have a complicating condition to get the flu shot.

Statewide, 29 flu deaths had been reported this season as of December 30, with 26 flu-like outbreaks in long-term care facilities, according to the state Department of Health.

These figures, however, are not all-encompassing of the actual number of flu cases, as many people tend not to seek medical attention when they exhibit flu symptoms.

According to S.C. DHEC, nine people across the state have died from the flu since November, one of them in the week after Christmas.

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The agency recommends treatment for anyone who is hospitalized with the flu or is at high risk of complications due to health conditions ranging from asthma to heart disease to obesity, or due to age (under age 2 or over age 65).

If you get the flu, proper care can lessen symptoms and decrease the time you are ill and able to infect others.

Dr. Michelle Murti, a member of Public Health Ontario, tells the National Post that this year's flu season is unusual compared to previous years. You should also be sure to wash your hands often, avoid touching your face, cover your cough and stay home when you're sick. Antivirals can be prescribed and could be life-saving for more severe cases. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.

Flu shots from HHSA are $11 each. Influenza frequently leads to pneumonia that can be prevented by the pneumococcal vaccine.

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