Monterey County sees first flu death of season

Monterey County sees first flu death of season

"Make sure you're using hand sanitizer a lot", said Dr. Charles Bregier with Novant Health.

Officials say late January and early February form the peak of flu season.

The flu season is off to a strong start, with 21 states reporting "high" flu-like activity.

Symptoms of flu include: fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, body aches, headaches, and fatigue.

A flu vaccine, available at pharmacies and in good supply in the United States, may not offer adequate protection against Type A, subtype H3N2, the influenza virus strain now circulating in the country, the San Francisco Chronicle reported on Thursday.

WKYT-TV reports that Lexington-Fayette County Health Department Communications Officer Kevin Hall says all three had other health complications, but flu was the ultimate cause of their deaths.

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"While the flu shot offers most protection if you get it early in the season, it's better now than never" and can result in a more mild illness if the flu is still contracted, officials said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the strain H3N2 is responsible for the majority of the deadliest cases reported this season. Six of those adults were 65 or older.

As of Wednesday, UT Medical Center had seen 64 people in December who tested positive for the flu.

Try to avoid close contact with sick people.

Along with other surveillance components, influenza-like illness is tracked as part of the CDC's ILINet program with the help of volunteer sentinel providers comprised of private providers, occupational health providers, student health clinics and emergency departments.

The designated support people need to be free of flu symptoms and carefully follow infection control guidelines, such as hand washing. The flu virus can live on a surface for a few hours after exposure, so it is of vital importance to have proper hygiene, Modi said. "H3N2 viruses continue to predominate".

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