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The state is also reporting a number of influenza outbreaks in long-term care facilities, with 49 outbreaks reported this season.

The CDC expects the 2017-2018 flu epidemic is shaping up to be the most deadly since 2009-2010 swine flu epidemic that killed 284,000 people worldwide and 657 Californians.

As the number of flu-related hospitalizations continues to increase, the Oklahoma State Department of Health has sent out a reminder to Oklahomans saying there is still time to get a flu shot.

Oklahoma health officials say 22 people have died from the flu in the state this season, and more than 1,000 people have been hospitalized.

John Haggie told CBC's On the Go on Thursday that since the start of flu clinics in October, 109,783 vaccines have been administered, compared with 106,077 over the entire flu season a year ago. While there is no doubt the number of cases reported are higher than they were past year at this time, it's possible both Boone County and Missouri are simply hitting an early peak in reported cases.

The Department of Public Health said this flu season has been particularly severe among people aged 65 and older.

Wadsworth Center, the state health department's laboratory, reports a 37 percent jump in laboratory-confirmed cases of the flu in recent weeks.

There has been a spike in the number of people diagnosed with flu.

A total of 456 of those cases required hospitalization.

Tremors felt in Erbil as 5.5 magnitude natural disaster hits Kermanshah
In 2003, a magnitude 6.6 quake in the province of Kerman flattened the historic city of Bam, killing more than 26,000 people. Late Thursday afternoon, another 4.8 magnitude quake struck in Kerman, according to the USGS.

These numbers only represent those cases that have been reported to Public Health and Human Services as laboratory confirmed cases, so the exact number of cases is unknown. That's well above the 106,000 shots given out in the 2016/2017 season.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that this year's vaccine is only about 30 percent effective.

Haggie says there are suggestions that one of the four strains of the virus contained in this year's influenza vaccine is less than ideal. Researchers use a surveillance site and reference labs to collect information about which strains are expected to circulate in the coming flu season each year.

This year's flu shot isn't as effective against a strain of the illness known as H3N2, but there is still good reason to get it.

It's not too late to get vaccinated — even halfway through flu season.

In December, the flu gave Californians a deadly pounding - the virus has killed 27 people under the age of 65 there.

Haggie says the flu vaccine is provided by the federal government, so there's really nothing the province can do to help with the effectiveness of the vaccine.

Local health providers and Kandiyohi County Public Health are emphasizing preventive habits: frequent hand washing, covering coughs and sneezes, getting adequate rest, and staying home when ill.

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