Influenza A is the most common subtype in the region this season.
As with any flu, the Australian flu is highly contagious and can spread quickly. There have been 612 flu-related hospitalizations reported and no pediatric deaths.
"There is not risk for getting the flu from your flu shot", he said.
According to Dr. Naveed Mohammad, vice president of medical affairs at William Osler, a hospital system in Peel region, the week of December 17 to December 23 saw nearly twice as many confirmed flu cases in the GTA than in the previous week.
Public health officials this week urged New Yorkers to get vaccinated to combat the virus, which has.
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"The message is to get vaccinated", she said.
"This time of year we're all trapped inside". By some estimates, this year's shot is only 39 percent effective. Reports that it's only 10 percent effective are likely not true because that was news from Australia, and the more valid comparison is to historical trends in the USA, according to the CDC. "Unfortunately, this flu season is far from over". Previous flu seasons dominated by H3N2 seasons have been more severe, especially among young children and older adults.
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Flu typically begins in October and can last through May, with January and February being the peak months. It is tracked by emergency room visits, and thermometer sales at local drug stores is also tracked to gauge illness in the region. These include carrying tissues and use them to catch coughs or sneezes, then to bin the tissues, washing your hands regularly with soap and warm water and frequently cleaning surfaces like computer keyboards, telephones and other regularly used objects.
"We want to do everything we can to prevent the transmission of flu and so when I talk to my patients about getting the flu shot, I say, it's the most you can do, so you might as well take advantage of what you can do", he said.
The policy is in place through March 2018. "Children are particularly likely to carry viruses since they are heavily exposed in the school setting".
Symptoms of the flu include fever, body ache, cough and fatigue. Although most people fully recover from the flu, some experience severe illness like pneumonia and respiratory failure, and the flu can sometimes be fatal.
Amendments to the regulations allow for the removal of masks when health care workers are accompanying patients in the community, providing speech therapy services, or communicating with persons who lip read.