During the 2016-2017 flu season, state officials say there were 56 flu-related deaths and more than 800 hospitalizations. The flu virus can spread a day before symptoms develop, and five to seven days after becoming sick. It's recommended for children of ages 6 months and older, as well as those people at high risk for complications related to the flu.
The flu season in El Paso runs from October to May, generally peaking in January and February.
Masks must be donned when there are two or more laboratory-confirmed, unrelated influenza cases in the county. Medical workers who wear the sticker without getting the shot will be subject to disciplinary action, and managers will perform "spot checks" to make sure the protocol is being followed.
Dr. John Cannell, founder of the Vitamin D Council, introduced the idea that a deficiency of the vitamin could be an underlaying cause of influenza.
Due to the early increased activity this year, both in Kentucky and nationally, increased flu activity is anticipated to continue for several months. Wu said the flu season in CT could extend into April.
Still, some people feel bad after a flu shot.
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Symptoms of influenza can include a fever of more than 38 C (100.4 F), dry cough, chills, headache, muscle ache, loss of appetite, sore throat and runny nose, and in younger children, nausea and vomiting.
"It's still possible to get a flu shot, but it takes two weeks for the vaccine to be effective", Burton said.
The flu vaccine is the single best way to protect against catching and spreading flu. "This is a tragic reminder that the flu still kills", said county public health official Cameron Kaiser, MD, in a statement.
If 10 tips are too many, Grant said to keep it simple with the "three C's." "What compounds it is why we always push people to get the flu shots before the Thanksgiving holiday - it's really the travel to those areas where there are flu outbreaks".
As of December 9, around 17.1 percent of Dallas County flu tests reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention came back positive for the virus.