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The death happened earlier this month and is one of 36 flu-related deaths in Kentucky this flu season. In Mercer County, health district epidemiologist Deb Scheer told the newspaper six cases had been reported through December, but from January 1-10, another 15 cases materialized.

"This flu season is going to be worse than a year ago", said Coliseum Medical Centers Director of Infection Prevention, Brandi Jones.

But although there has been a spike in flu cases in Canada and the US, so far Newfoundland and Labrador has been largely spared, although half a dozen people have been sick enough to be hospitalized. Not everyone that gets the flu visits their medical provider, and not everyone who does is laboratory tested for the flu.

The season typically starts in October, but it can last as last as May and usually peaks between December and February, so a shot can still help even though it might be late, she added.

More than 30 flu-related deaths have occurred in the state, including one in LaRue County.

Los Angeles County health officials this week reported 36 deaths this flu season, compared to 13 people for the same time past year. The majority of those sick enough to be hospitalized have H3, Deatherage said.

Oklahoma health officials say 22 people have died from the flu in the state this season, and more than 1,000 people have been hospitalized.

Children's Healthcare of Atlanta said there has been an increase in flu cases in children this season. While there is no doubt the number of cases reported are higher than they were past year at this time, it's possible both Boone County and Missouri are simply hitting an early peak in reported cases. Influenza requiring hospitalization must be reported to county health departments.


When the majority of the community is vaccinated, it also makes it less likely that residents with compromised immune systems who can not receive the vaccination will be infected with the flu. Vaccine effectiveness does vary for the different strains and year by year.

If you haven't already, get the flu shot!

CHOA is now under visitor restrictions to protect patients from the cold and flu season, a spokeswoman said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said influenza, commonly known as the flu, is a contagious respiratory illness caused by viruses.

The agency says people should wash their hands frequently, cover coughs and sneezes and stay home from work and away from public places if they are ill.

"We had 15 or 20 people call in and ask about the program, and about half a dozen people got high results and called us and asked us to explain the results to them in terms of what they should or shouldn't do", Anderson said.

For those at high risk of serious flu complications, getting vaccinated is especially important, according to the CDPH.


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