Flu now widespread across South Dakota


Though it's still too early to say whether this winter will be a bad flu season, epidemiologists in 36 states - including NY - have already reported "widespread influenza activity", according to data released by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday.

'As far as past seasons where H3N2 has been predominant, there have been more hospitalizations and complications with it, ' said Texas Health and Human Services Commission spokeswoman Lara Anton. "It's important to know that it takes about two weeks for the vaccine to take effect".

Children younger than five years of age.

The South and West reported seeing the highest rates of patients with flu-related symptoms. No deaths were reported in Central Zone.

Overall deaths from pneumonia and flu, an indicator that typically lags other flu markers, are below the seasonal baseline. Last year, only 15 residents there had the flu.

'If it continues to be the predominant type, we could expect that'.

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Salem Township Hospital Chief Nursing Officer Kendra Taylor says the hospital has seen an increased number of positive results for Influenza A indicating the flu is in the local area.

The strain of influenza circulating this year is known to cause severe illness, according to a city release sent out today. Levels of hospitalizations and deaths are highest in seniors, and since early November, surveillance has reported above-average hospitalizations for flu among children.

To protect pediatric patients, mothers and newborns from flu viruses circulating in our region, all Samaritan Health Services hospitals will limit visitors in birthing centers, beginning January 4.

She said it could also help prevent Influenza B infection when it becomes more prevalent.

At sentinel healthcare sites, the percentage of respiratory specimens that tested positive for flu rose from 28% to 32% compared to the previous week.