1st flu-related child death reported in New Jersey

CDC confirms: FluMist nasal spray is less effective than the shot

CDC confirms: FluMist nasal spray is less effective than the shot

There have been high rates of children hospitalized across the country this year.

While parts of the country are struggling with a tougher than usual flu season, especially for young children, Ottawa so far seems to be experiencing a less severe season - so far.

State health officials have confirmed the first death of a New Jersey child associated with the flu this season.

"It's a different season, different profile".

There have been 1,723 lab confirmed cases of the flu since September 1. Most cases occurred in people under age 65. At this point in the 2017-2018 flu season, 46 states were reporting widespread flu activity, there were 13.7 flu hospitalizations per 100,000 people and nearly 6% of doctor's visits were related to the flu.

The severity of last year's flu season, which killed an estimated 80,000 people, may be one of the reasons behind the slow start to the 2018-2019 season.

Seventy-one of those kids had to be admitted to the ICU.

For reasons of medical privacy, the department will not be releasing additional information.

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However, these figures reflect only cases in which testing was performed; many more people who come down with the flu don't seek medical assistance and therefore aren't tested.

"So we're probably on track to coming up to more of our peak activity in the next couple of weeks or so". Typically, the Atlantic province begins seeing a surge of flu in late December, following the close-quarters socializing of the Christmas holidays when the virus finds lots of hosts to infect.

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.

Ottawa, in contrast, was seeing a lower rate of influenza overall and among children than the national rates as of the end of the year (the most recent numbers).

The majority of those are the H1N1 strain, according to the province.

Ottawa's hospitals and Ottawa Public Health are encouraging people who think they have the flu to stay home and rest, take plenty of liquids and ibuprofen or acetaminophen for aches and fever. They are reminding people to wash their hands frequently, cover their coughs and sneezes with arms, not hands, clean frequently touched surfaces and keep a distance from others to avoid spreading the flu.

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.

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