Twenty-three states are already reporting high flu activity.
Hospitals from South Bend to Evansville have imposed restrictions that include barring visitors other than immediate family or other significant persons.
Flu season often begins in October, peaks between December and February, and can last as late as May, said the agency.
Of those, two-thirds of the hospitalizations have involved residents over the age of 65, with multiple outbreaks in long-term care facilities.
To avoid getting sick, practice good health habits: get plenty of sleep, manage stress, drink fluids, eat nutritious foods and stay physically active, or as much as possible given the winter weather, she said.
'There was a health alert on Wednesday letting providers know that they should be highly suspicious of anyone with flu-like symptoms and start treating them with antivirals, ' Anton said. One of the main reasons for the upsurge in flu related illnesses is a general misconception about the effectiveness of the flu vaccine this year.
People who get sick easily or have cancer, diabetes, HIV, autoimmune disorders, transplant patients, people with no spleen, people suffering from severe burns or physical trauma, chronic kidney or liver disease. University of Washington School of Medicine researchers are hoping to one day offer an alternative to the annual flu shot: a DNA vaccine.
According to N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, a child in the central part of the state died last week from complications associated with flu.
People who are immunochallenged will suffer the worst, Killingsworth said. If not treated early, it can lead to tissue damage, organ failure and death.
"This extra line of protection is needed right now in order to reduce the risk of exposing patients, visitors and hospital staff to the flu virus", said Christopher Doehring, MD, vice president of medical affairs. Usually, a flu fever will last from three to five days. These include children, the elderly and others with a weakened immune system due to other illnesses or medications. Pneumonia, bronchitis, sinus and ear infections are examples of complications from flu.
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