Flu cases on the rise in Pensacola

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Figures released by the CDC Friday show the state is one of 35 in the USA where the flu is now considered to be "widespread", meaning there are active outbreaks in all regions.

"Moderate flu activity" is being reported in West Virginia for the close of 2017.

So far this flu season in IN, there have been nine influenza-associated deaths, and 13 long-term care facility outbreaks, the state health department reported.

The so-called "Aussie flu" - or strain H3N2 - is a mutated strain, meaning it is less effective against vaccination.

The proportion of deaths attributed to pneumonia and influenza was two percent for the week ending December 9, below the epidemic threshold of 6.8 percent for that week, said the CDC.

"Typically in years when the predominant strain is H3N2, there are more hospitalizations, more severe disease and people tend to get sicker", Dr. Michael Ison, a professor of infectious disease and organ transplantation at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine, told NBC News.

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Should a person develop flu symptoms, Crawford said it is imperative to see a doctor within the first two days.

Flu symptoms include fever, chills, cough, sore throat, muscle or body aches, fatigue and a headache. The most recent one is a child from central North Carolina who died last week due to the flu. "Cover your mouth and nose when sneezing and coughing". Additionally, everyone should do not forget to thoroughly wash their hands throughout the day, avoid touching their face area and other orifices without reason, and to stay warm in colder weather to prevent the virus from replicating more quickly. Since it takes up to two weeks after vaccination for full immunity to take effect, anyone who has not already been vaccinated should do so now. While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.

Serious complications can result from flu.

"Influenza can be spread before symptoms occur, so hand hygiene is the most important measure to protect our patients and their family members", said registered nurse Shannon Comer, DMH infection prevention manager, in a statement.

Not everyone with flu will have a fever. Also, the CDC says it is never too late to receive a flu shot.