US flu season poised to be milder than last year's harsh one

Only Winnipeg region has had more flu cases than Northern Manitoba this season

Flu taking toll in California, other states, but having milder impact nationwide, data show

Federal health officials say that the flu is now widespread in Alabama - and it's expected to increase.

The Alabama Department of Public Health reports that almost every county in the state is experiencing significant flu activity. Almost all of the pediatric illnesses are linked to H1N1. As of December 29, 2018, 13 children had died from influenza this flu season.

In California, Fresno County has seen six flu-related deaths since October, the Fresno Bee reported on Friday, while a total of 42 lives have been lost throughout the state, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Other ways to avoid getting a cold or the flu include washing your hands often and avoid touching your face. Experts advise getting the flu shot, but like most years, it seems there are more flu like illnesses than just the flu strains this year's shot is created to work against.

"Here's another proactive step you can take to protect your baby", Gupta said of a flu shot.

Normally, he would advise parents of children with run-of-the-mill flu symptoms to treat them at home with rest, fluids and over-the-counter medications to control fever.

In Oklahoma, the CDC reports flu activity is high. This year's vaccine offers protection against both of these strains.

The H1N1 strain of influenza is hard on children's lungs, said Dr. Laurentiu Givelichian, head of pediatrics for the Saskatchewan Health Authority.

Georgia Today quoted the country's health minister as saying that 640 people are being treated with the virus, of which 39 are in intensive care units. "They don't have the ability and capacity to generate enough oxygen for the rest of the body to survive the infection", Givelichian said.

In New Brunswick, where no children have died with a lab-confirmed diagnosis of influenza, the virus still seems to be targeting a younger demographic than in the last few seasons.

Last year's severe flu season had a low vaccination rate among adults - about 37 percent, according to the CDC, and about 80 percent of those who died from flu complications had not gotten a flu shot. "Patients should get vaccinated as soon as possible after the vaccine is available, and ideally prior to peak activity".

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