First Child Dies of Influenza in New Jersey

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Dr. Spencer Durham, an assistant clinical professor and infectious disease specialist in the Harrison School of Pharmacy's Department of Pharmacy Practice, said the peak of flu season is just getting underway and people should get a flu shot.

The best protection against the flu is the flu shot, but is it too late to get vaccinated? Residents should also remember that it takes about two weeks for the flu shot to take full effect.

The flu spreads "mainly by droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk".

But the state's Department of Health says activity was increasing last month; already nine lab-confirmed flu deaths have been reported this flu season, including one in Thurston County.

The child, from the central region of the state, died in late December.

Those with flu symptoms are advised to visit their primary care doctor, a Lee Health Convenient Care, walk-in or urgent care center.

His research group is one of six teams across the country that partner with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to monitor the effectiveness of the flu vaccine and help inform which strains are included in the vaccine each year. Last year, the flu killed more than 80,000 Americans, including a record 185 children.

People who live with or care for infants should be also be vaccinated. "It's still low in Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and 22 of our 50 states, but that will change as the season progresses", Stephen Morse, PhD, a professor of epidemiology at the Columbia University Medical Center in NY, told Healthline.

However, these figures reflect only cases in which testing was performed; many more people who come down with the flu don't seek medical assistance and therefore aren't tested. 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.

There have been 11 deaths reported this flu season compared to 91 at this point during the 2017-18 season. The CDC states some individuals may have vomiting and diarrhea, though these symptoms are more common in children than adults.

Since 2010, the CDC has advised that everyone over the age of 6 months should be vaccinated against influenza. First, we partner with hospitals in the area to figure out how well the vaccine is preventing hospitalizations for people infected with the flu virus.

"Kids get influenza, but the ones who are getting it we're seeing more of because they're more severely ill than past year", Hoyano added.

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