With flu season around the corner, Health Officer warns of Influenza B

Flu shots offered to children and adults in January

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports the flu is now widespread in 46 states, almost four times as many compared with this time previous year.

Nearly 700 confirmed cases of influenza have hit the Province of Saskatchewan, but the good news is it looks as though flu season has hit it's peak.

Wednesday's announcement came after seven people died from the flu Tuesday, according to the county.

You may also see these symptoms with a cold, but doctors said they are more flu related. It is one of the four strains in the flu vaccine, but it's mutating, making it hard to vaccinate against.

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The advice from Werker, Shahab and others is to stay home when you're sick, cough into your sleeve and always wash your hands.

H3N2 is the strain of flu that has been seen most this season, and it has proven to be a deadly strain.

Symptoms of the flu include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches and fatigue.

He said very young kids and the elderly are the most vunerable.

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Doctors said there are a lot of great steps people can take to help prevent the flu. From Dec. 31 to January 6, ARC tested more than 500 patients with flu-like symptoms.

Flu vaccines are recommended for everyone 6 months of age and older and are available to the Ashland County-City Health Department by calling 419-282-4357. While vaccine effectiveness is usually between 30 percent and 60 percent, the CDC stresses that "influenza vaccination is the most effective now available method to prevent influenza and its complications".

Still, there have been worse flu seasons in the past. "If you have a high-risk condition, do not forget to keep a safe distance from individuals who have flu-like symptoms".

But, he cautioned, we are right in the middle of flu season. If you're one of those people who start feeling flu symptoms, DO check with your primary care physician, whether it's a call or a visit, as soon as possible.

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That being said, the best way to protect against the flu is to get the vaccine.

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