Maine CDC urges flu shots as cases rise above 1,000 in state

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Doctors say that preliminary reports show the flu shot seems to have reduced the risk posed by the H1N1 flu strain by approximately 72 percent. In fact, studies show that flu vaccination can reduce the risk of flu illness by up to 60 percent. Often times you see a spike in the "B" cases later on in the flu season.

Overall deaths from pneumonia and flu, an indicator that typically lags other markers, rose to 7.2% last week and are above the epidemic threshold, and in an accompanying situation report, the CDC said that indicator has now topped the epidemic level for 2 weeks this season.

Confirmed cases of the flu are rising at alarming rates across the Hudson Valley and New York State.

The finding is "good news", said lead researcher Dr. Danuta Skowronski of the BC Centre for Disease Control, considering that the efficacy of last year's shot was less than 20 per cent, due primarily to a mismatch between the vaccine and the H3N2 strain that prevailed during the 2017-18 season.

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Of the more than 230 people hospitalized with H1N1, 48 were children nine years and younger.

Geographically, flu is now widespread in 36 states, up from 30 the week before.

Henry admits the flu shot is not ideal by any means, but says it's certainly the best protection.

According to data from the Public Health Agency of Canada, at least seven children under age 10 died from complications of influenza as of January 12.

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She adds older people seem to have some sort of resistance to that strain, but have still been dealing with H3N2, a type that has been more prevalent over the last couple of years.

He says people need to remember that while they may recover, others they come in contact with could have underlying health conditions which make them more susceptible to the flu.

Although this year's flu season is already on the downswing, Skowronski explains that it's not too late for people to get vaccinated.

Individuals who are very young, very old or pregnant or whose immune systems are compromised are most vulnerable to becoming seriously ill from influenza. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and throw the tissue in the trash, then wash your hands.

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