Dogs can get the flu too!

Dogs can get the flu too!

Goldman says he is hoping for a peak in flu cases here in the next week or two or three, but says there a couple of things for Pennsylvanians to keep in mind until that break comes.

"The H3N2 strain that's circulating is a little bit harder of a virus too, it's robust", said Casie Stoughton, Director of City of Amarillo Public Health.

Local media outlets report Carmel Christian School in Matthews canceled classes Thursday and Friday after reports of a flu-like outbreak which has affected more than 160 students. H3N2 is associated with more severe illness, especially among children and the elderly.

In the last week, doctors have seen an uptick in flu-related doctors visits while the rate of flu hospitalizations almost doubled.

In one indicator of a worsening season, the CDC reported seven pediatric flu deaths.

The seasonal flu vaccine usually protects against three or four strains of the flu, which are chosen based on predictions for what will circulate in the United States that year. Chen says more of them are sick at his clinic this year. Annual hospitalizations range from 140,000 to 710,000 and deaths are estimated between 12,000 and 56,000 each year.

Folk said if history repeats itself, the number of diagnosed flu cases will continue to rise over the next month or so.

"Every year, there are still a number of people that die from flu, and they can be healthy individuals", said Dr. Quan.

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Even if the vaccine is not as effective for the current strain of the flu, Echols said people should still get it as a precaution.

"It seems like it worked, which is great", she said.

The effectiveness of the vaccine was also lower in 2014-15, Jernigan said.

According to Mosaic, the second issue is that the flu vaccine is perceived to not be as effective this year as it normally would be.

Jernigan characterized the current flu season as "on the severe side", but said it does not appear to be as severe as the 2014/2015 flu season, which was also driven by an H3N2 virus.

Aside from the vaccine, the CDC recommends people take their own steps to avoid the flu.

Other tips: Wash your hands frequently, cover your mouth with the upper sleeve when coughing and stay home when you're sick as good preventative measures.

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