Flu outbreak in Taiwan escalates; one patient dies: CDC

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"This year, it seems to be a little earlier than usual and the prediction is that it might be a moderately severe season", said infectious disease expert at Carolinas Healthcare System, Dr. Anu Neelakanta, MD. Only Hawaii, Maine, New Hampshire, and New Jersey reported regional flu activity.

No matter what, "it's still your best protection" - and it's better for the population as a whole if everyone who can get a flu shot does so, she said. CDC also recommends everyday preventive actions (like staying away from people who are sick, covering coughs and sneezes and frequent handwashing) to help slow the spread of germs that cause respiratory (nose, throat, and lungs) illnesses, like flu.

Everyone 6 months of age and older should be vaccinated against the flu.

Please do not visit hospitalized patients if you are not feeling well, particularly if you have had flu-like symptoms during the past seven days.

State health officials urged people to get vaccinated against the flu, noting about 70% of those who died in this age group were not vaccinated. There have also been 148 ICU cases reported.

Professor Kate Ardern, director for public health said: "As part of the Deal for Health and Wellness, we're committed to ensuring residents live healthy lives and are aware of the support available to them".

The flu is worse than the common cold, and flu symptoms are more intense.

Flu symptoms include sudden high fever, headache, dry cough, chills and fatigue.

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Bhide said many people are catching the flu in public, on airplanes, at gyms, and movie theaters.

Check with your doctor promptly if you are at high risk of serious flu complications and you get flu symptoms. It's very challenging to predict which virus will dominate.

Baber said nearly half of Grand Forks County's cases popped up in the past couple of weeks, unlike a gradual spread in the rest of the state.

I think there is a misperception that influenza isn't a severe illness and it certainly is, absolutely, among young children, older adults, people with chronic medical conditions, pregnant women.

"As of today, there's no shortage of influenza vaccine in California".

According to Meltzer, it's never too late to get the flu shot. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based rub.

Get a flu vaccine because it's the best way to reduce your risk of getting sick with seasonal flu and spreading it to others.

These figures, however, are not all-encompassing of the actual number of flu cases, as many people tend not to seek medical attention when they exhibit flu symptoms.

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