The most predominant strain circulating through Mohave County and Arizona is Influenza AH3, which causes more severe illness and is the least effective component of the seasonal flu vaccine, as compared with Influenza AH1N1 and Influenza B, the county health official said. But she did say emergency room and urgent care visits peaked around Christmas, but have now dropped and leveled off.
Matt Maurer, the epidemiologist for Coconino County, holds a vial of influenza vaccine at the county health department in Flagstaff, Ariz.
In addition to vaccination, public information officer Alexandra Reed said consistent hand washing and staying home if you are sick are the keys to preventing the virus' spread.
Flu season has come early this year according to the Department of Health of Lee County, who say they expect a spike in flu cases this year.
"It's safe to say that we are now experiencing a flu outbreak and these three voluntarily reported flu-related deaths reflect that", said Chief Epidemiologist Russell Jones.
Dr. Eric Irvine, chief of emergency medicine at Brantford General Hospital, said there has been only a slight increase in volume in the emergency department due to flu. "Flu vaccination also can reduce the severity of illness if you do get sick". But the symptoms will be milder and probably have a shorter duration.
The body takes about two weeks to produce a full immune response following inoculation. Although wait times have remained mostly the same, this new area has decreased congestion in the emergency department, said Stefany Snedden, communications co-ordinator with the health-care system. Residents with questions should contact their health care provider.
"Having gone over two maximum incubation periods without any new reported case linked to the outbreak, we consider it appropriate to, and subsequently wish to declare the outbreak over on technical grounds". To date, there have been no reports of pediatric death associated with flu.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the 2017-2018 flu season in OH is comparative to that in 2014-15, which was the most severe flu season in recent years.
Complications of flu can include bacterial pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections and worsening of chronic medical conditions, such as congestive heart failure, asthma or diabetes.
However, "influenza is a very serious illness, so if you're at high risk or have symptoms such as difficulty breathing, chest pain, dizziness, confusion, persistent vomiting, can not drink fluids, or have flu-like symptoms that improve but then return with fever or worse cough, seek emergency medical care immediately", said Dr. Cara Christ, director of the Department of Health Services.