New Jersey Health Department Confirms First Pediatric Flu Death Of Season

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You and your family can get the flu shot at no cost at a military hospital or clinic, a participating network pharmacy, or from a TRICARE-authorized provider.

CDC officials say there were 510 confirmed influenza cases through January 5 - down from 768 during the same time period in 2017-2018. "It trains your body to be prepared for when it actually sees the real thing", he said, adding that it takes a couple of weeks for the vaccine to work properly.

"Oftentimes people with the flu don't know they're sick and can (spread it) before they start having symptoms", said Angie Dickson, infection prevention manager at Providence. School absenteeism because of the flu is reported weekly.

On Thursday, the Oklahoma State Department of Health reported the first influenza-associated death in Oklahoma County for the 2018-2019 flu season.

The state Department of Health announced Tuesday the child from central New Jersey died in late December.

The CDC warns individuals that flu symptoms come on suddenly.

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Symptoms include fever, chills, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes, sore throat, headaches, fatigue and coughing. The vaccine is safe and effective. In the last week there were 16 hospitalizations, bringing the season's total to 53. For more information on how you can get the flu vaccine at no cost, visit Flu Vaccine on the TRICARE website.

"When someone has the flu, it's also important to watch for potential severe complications", said James Toothman, DO, chief of emergency and trauma medicine at PVH. "Flu activity can last until April or May and the flu vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and others around you from influenza". A sudden influx of patients has caused the hospital to remain at or near capacity most days, and much of that influx is attributed to the rise in confirmed flu cases.

Those previous seasons were dominated by H3N2, an influenza A strain that is particularly hard on older adults and which typically carries a higher risk of complications like pneumonia that can lead to hospitalization or death, said Dr. Danuta Skowronski, epidemiology lead of influenza and emerging respiratory pathogens at the BC Centre for Disease Control. "You should also avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth, stay at home when you are sick and cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze".

Other tests called rapid molecular assays can also take 15 to 20 minutes to complete and they detect the actual genetic material of the flu virus, according to the CDC.

Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine every year.

Of course, it's still possible to get the flu even if you've gotten the flu shot, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't get vaccinated.

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