DE experiencing mild flu season compared to rest of country

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In Pennsylvania, through the end of 2017, there were over 6,200 cases documented, with one-third of those in the last week of the year and 60 percent within the last two weeks of December.

Only two areas in the United Kingdom are now free of the Australian flu virus after a surge in cases over the weekend.

"There are early indicators that this influenza season is a little bit more severe compared to prior influenza seasons".

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.

People who are at a higher risk of serious complications from influenza - those age 65 and older, children age 5 and younger, pregnant women and those with underlying health conditions - should remain alert and seek treatment early from their primary care providers.

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Dr. Michelle Murti of Public Health Ontario says a B strain - a type that typically causes less severe illness - is also circulating.

Moreover, the flu season this year has only just begun.

There was "high activity" of the flu - the highest prevalence ranking - in almost half of the USA as reported last week.

Seniors have been the worst-affected, accounting for the majority of hospitalizations and deaths. "At this moment in time there are no signs it is a great epidemic". Influenza-related deaths and hospitalisations are running at double the rate of previous year.

Hundreds of thousands have been forced to miss school and work due to the outbreak.

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We see this H3N2 subtype in many flu seasons and the circulating flu strains match those in the current flu vaccines, meaning they are still the best defence we have against the virus. We will contact patients directly as soon as possible if we need to reschedule any operations and appointments - if you don't hear from us please come to hospital as planned.

Other area medical centers report emergency rooms so crowded that ambulances are not able to quickly unload their patients preventing them from responding to 911 emergency calls.

Hospitals have been overwhelmed with the influx of infected patients that hospitals in the San Francisco Bay Area are limiting visitors under the age of 16 as a precaution.

This year's flu vaccine is about 60% effective, and it's not too late to get it. The flu shot remains the best protection we have against influenza.

"Our staff have been working tirelessly in recent weeks and throughout the festive period to provide compassionate care for the continuously increasing number of patients who needed hospital services".

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