Still time to get flu shots: Sherlock

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

The child lived in the central region of New Jersey and passed away in December.

Dr. Siiri Bennett, state epidemiologist at the Maine CDC, said that flu season is unpredictable, and can peak at any time. H3N2, the strain largely responsible for last year's outbreak, has so far been less common than the H1N1 strain.

MEDINA, Ohio- There have been four flu-related deaths in Medina County this influenza season, the Medina County Health Department said. For those who get a flu shot and still contract influenza, symptoms tend to be milder and not last as long, research has shown. At least one death has been documented by the network of 12 pediatric hospitals across the country that reports to PHAC, but for privacy reasons the agency does not release the exact number, saying only that there have been fewer than five.

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To help prevent the flu in yourself and others, it's best to wash and disinfect your hands, cover your mouth if you sneeze or cough and stay home if you're ill, especially if you have a fever, the New Jersey Department of Health advises.

This is due in part to H1N1, known as the swine flu, being the dominant strain this year. Healthcare workers should also get the vaccine to protect themselves and those that they care for. "If you have not yet been vaccinated this year, it's not too late". The more people who are vaccinated, the less likely the virus is to spread - protecting those who are most vulnerable, including babies, older adults, and people with compromised immune systems.

"So we would like everybody who's eligible to get the vaccine", said Russell, noting that it takes about two weeks for antibodies induced by the shot to come into full effect. There were about 80,000 estimated deaths, including 180 children - the most since the CDC started using its latest surveillance procedures.

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