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Marion County hospitals to temporarily restrict visitors due to high flu activity
10 January 2019, 07:40 | Silvia Roy
The flu vaccine is drawn from the vile into the needle at Crawford Kids Clinic in Aurora Colorado. Brent Lewis—Denver Post via Getty Images
Meanwhile, 19 states and New York City were reporting high levels of influenza-like illness activity, meaning a much higher-than-average proportion of doctor's visits could be attributed to the flu. Thirteen flu-related deaths have been reported nationally by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Flu season runs from October through May.
Dr. Siiri Bennett, state epidemiologist at the Maine CDC, said that flu season is unpredictable, and can peak at any time. "This year, the predominant strain we're seeing is H1N1", Shahab said.
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. "We continue to recommend community members get their flu shot".
For reasons of medical privacy, the department will not be releasing additional information.
This is due in part to H1N1, known as the swine flu, being the dominant strain this year. Rates, however, were higher among young children and the elderly (14.5 and 11.9 hospitalizations per 100,000 people, respectively), as these populations are more susceptible to complications of the flu.
While last season's vaccine turned out to be a poor match for the circulating strains - especially for the prevailing H3N2 type - the 2018-2019 flu shot is expected to be far more effective in preventing the infectious disease.
Officials urge residents to get flu shots and stay home if sick.
That also goes for healthy adults who are in close contact with people in those groups or with babies under six months of age who are too young to be inoculated against influenza, she said. There were about 80,000 estimated deaths, including 180 children - the most since the CDC started using its latest surveillance procedures.
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