Health officials: 13 Oklahomans have died from the flu

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People at high risk of serious flu complications, including young children; pregnant women; people with chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes or heart and lung disease; people 65 years and older; and people who are immunocompromised should seek health care advice early on if they experience flu-like symptoms. Since September, Ottawa Public Health has recorded 77 lab-confirmed cases of the flu, similar to the amount seen at the same time a year ago.

"Don't linger. Run, do not walk, and get your influenza vaccine because it does take 10 days to 2 weeks for the body to build up its maximum protection", said Schaffner. "We can all do our part to keep the flu from spreading". School absenteeism because of the flu is reported weekly.

According to the province's influenza surveillance report, six people have died of the flu as of December 29, and the Ministry of Health has confirmed three were children under the age of five.

ME and New Hampshire were the only New England states with lower levels of flu activity through the end of December, the latest federal comparison data available, while most of the South already had been hit hard by the flu.

Symptoms include fever, chills, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes, sore throat, headaches, fatigue and coughing.

FLU-v is a broad spectrum influenza vaccine that targets regions in the influenza virus that are conserved among many different influenza strains.

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"This season seems to be more burdensome, more severe, affecting more people and causing more hospitalizations than the last H1N1 season", Mema said. "Patients should get vaccinated as soon as possible after the vaccine is available, and ideally prior to peak activity".

Some ways to prevent getting the flu include getting the vaccine, washing your hands often and getting a lot of rest during flu season. While the medical professionals are treating some influenza B, the strain of the virus physicians are seeing most is influenza A. The single best way to protect yourself against the flu is to get vaccinated.

Other tests called rapid molecular assays can also take 15 to 20 minutes to complete and they detect the actual genetic material of the flu virus, according to the CDC.

Did you get your flu shot?

This year's flu season is already making its first victims across the USA and Canada, as well. The CDC states some individuals may have vomiting and diarrhea, though these symptoms are more common in children than adults.

The CDC recommends annual influenza vaccinations for everyone age 6 months or older.

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