Widespread flu activity grows statewide

Flu outbreak brings overcrowded hospitals and medicine shortages as death toll in California rises to 27

Health officials prepare for spike in flu-related deaths

State Health Commissioner Kris Box said Monday that anyone who hasn't received a flu shot should do so soon because the flu vaccine is the best way to prevent influenza, decrease its severity and prevent flu-related deaths.

State health officials say flu activity is widespread across Indiana.

'I've already gone through eight in the last three hours we've been open, ' he added.

"We watch flu very carefully throughout the health authority".

Emergency rooms in and around the Los Angeles area are so crowded that ambulances are unable to immediately unload their patients.

Some studies say the flu vaccination this year has not been effective but officials tell us the health department will not know the efficacy of the vaccine for several months.

Antiviral drugs are different from antibiotics.

Experts say this season's 25 fatal flu cases comes after just two flu-related deaths at this point previous year.

Flu season officially begins in October but this year's particularly unsafe strain, H3N2, has come relatively early and the season has not reached its peak yet.

"The current numbers exceed where we were at this time during the 2009-10 H1N1 pandemic", said Charity Dean, county public health officer.

In light of panic over reports of the vaccine's effectiveness, the CDC reported that it expects the American vaccine to be 32 percent effective against the H3N2 virus, but this week saw the flu become highly active in 21 states.

With kids going back to school, doctors say that could expose kids to the virus even more.

That is why washing your hands constantly throughout the day, having good cough etiquette, and staying home if you are sick along with getting vaccinated is still what experts are recommending to do.

The CDC said flu season usually peaks between December and March and can often extend into May.

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