Flu cases high, widespread in SC

"Depending on the specific flu vaccine, people can be protected from three or four different strains of influenza".

It's also been a long couple of weeks at Child & Adolescent Health, as they have been dealing with the spike in flu cases. At least 20 children have reportedly died from the virus since late 2016. Jennifer Dillaha, Medical Director for Immunizations at the Arkansas Department of Health, said the flu is now a widespread epidemic across the United States.

Marianne Kundich, nursing supervisor at the Lake County Health Department, said her department doesn't charge for the vaccine for adults without insurance and doesn't charge children on Medicaid, and they take insurance from some places.

Winter comes with the unwelcome possibility of sneezing and signs of sickness, but once and for all, how do you know if it's already the flu or just a really bad case of cold?

"Typically on average, the flu season usually lasts about 15 weeks", she said.

There's been a slight increase this last week of people getting flu shots from the Porter and Lake counties health departments, thanks to media coverage of flu cases increasing, county officials said. "Contact your health care provider right away if you are at high risk of serious flu complications and you get flu symptoms".

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted that it could be hard to tell the flu from a cold, since both are viral in nature and lead to similar symptoms. According to Mr. Cooper, "Getting your annual flu shot is the best way to protect yourself from getting sick from the flu virus and prevent spreading it to others".

Infectious disease physician at Bristol Regional Medical Center Dr. Gail Stanley said frequent hand washing can help in stopping the spread of the flu.

The Agency is urging everyone six months old and older to get vaccinated against the flu. 16 of those deaths were among people 65 and older.

  • Archie Newman