Published: Sat, January 13, 2018
Medicine | By Douglas Stevenson

Arkansas House: Flu season has begun to hit Arkansas hard

Arkansas House: Flu season has begun to hit Arkansas hard

Rapid City Regional Hospital does not now have any restrictions on visitors.

Flu season has kicked off in full force, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reporting Friday that influenza is already widespread in 26 states across the U.S.

"The circulating flu strains match those in the current flu vaccine, so the vaccine remains the best defence against the virus".

Public health expert Professor Robert Dingwall, of Nottingham Trent University, previously told "The reports from Australia suggest the United Kingdom might be in for the worst winter flu season for many years".

On a positive note, there were no new influenza outbreaks reported this week at long-term care facilities.

In addition to getting the flu shot, best preventative measures include washing your hands, eating right, and getting plenty of rest. Flu season is starting much earlier than usual and it's expected to be a nasty one.

This week, there has been a spike in the number of influenza cases across the country.

If you suspect or know you have the flu, you should avoid touching or coming into close contact with others to prevent them from becoming sick.

Request the "quadrivalent vaccine, " the one that protects against four influenza strains, because one of the strains in circulation in Alabama (Type B/Yamagata) is only included in the quadrivalent vaccine. Yet, many North Carolinians go the entire flu season - October through May - without getting vaccinated. Since 2009, Rush has conducted year-round planning for every flu season that he said has helped mitigate its burden, Segreti said.

The Department of Health is urging Arkansans to stay home if they have a fever or other symptoms that could be flu-related. It will take about two weeks to get immunized so patients need to keep that in mind.

People who are immunochallenged will suffer the worst, Killingsworth said.

Serious complications can result from flu. Usually, a flu fever will last from three to five days. The most vulnerable groups to contract the disease remain the elderly, children, and those with compromised immune systems, who also happen to be the groups who might be least likely to vaccinate or be able to vaccinate. Pneumonia, bronchitis, sinus and ear infections are examples of complications from flu.

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