Flu cases show signs of peaking, says Public Health England

Flu cases show signs of peaking, says Public Health England

Skowronski says the vaccine's effectiveness in preventing H1N1 infection is comparable to that found by Australia during its most recent flu season. During the influenza season, weekly flu updates are posted from October of the current year, through May of the following year.

Some good news? So far, influenza A (H1N1) viruses are most common.

"The more that we have, the better estimates that we are able to get, and the earlier we're able to get - particularly our mid-season estimates like this one, which are very important to understand and to help people decide on policy for the rest of the season".

"Last year's flu season was notable for the severity, the number of people affected and the rate of hospitalizations", said Dr. Caitlin Pedati, state epidemiologist and medical director of the Iowa Department of Public Health.

"The vaccine was extremely effective this year as compared to past years, which is wonderful".

"We won't have the full picture until end of season, but we can already tell more people have received a vaccine in Iowa", she said.

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Influenza B strain viruses, which lead to the same flu symptoms as A strain viruses, are also circulating, as usual, this season. Caused by the influenza virus, the flu is among the leading causes of illness in the country, according to the Department of Health (DoH).

So far in January, the practice has tested 208 people for the flu with 93 testing positive for Influenza A. Of those testing positive, 70 percent had not received a flu shot.

More than 1,500 resulted in hospitalization, including 227 ICU admissions and 47 deaths. People with flu may be able to infect others from one day before going sick to up to five to seven days after. The immune system response can also trigger fever and cause muscle or body aches.

"I know from studying the evidence that vaccination works, and is the only effective way to prevent the spread of the flu virus".

GP consultations with flu-like illness and intensive care admission rates remain at similar levels to last week (19.6 from 19.2 per 100,000 in England and 0.54 from 0.55 per 100,000 respectively), while there has been a slight increase in hospital admissions rates from 4.8 to 5.04 per 100,000.

The BCCDC reminds people that general hygiene practices such as washing your hands, coughing and sneezing into your elbow, and refraining from touching your face, are also steps that can minimize sickness.

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