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Los Angeles County health officials this week reported 36 deaths this flu season, compared to 13 people for the same time previous year.

"Really, the key is if you're sick, stay home", Zondervan said. Health officials, nevertheless, are urging people to take advantage of the vaccine not only because of its prevention capacity, but because the flu is milder when people catch it despite being vaccinated. But local health departments that do count them are reporting that more people have died.

Some long-term care facilities have issued warnings on the west coast and in central Newfoundland, restricting visitation as a precaution against the flu season.

"There has been a clear increase in hospital admissions here", said Dr. Bettina Fries, chief of infectious diseases at Stony Brook University Hospital, who noted that people are largely being hospitalized because of co-infections: the flu along with other nasty respiratory viruses that circulate in winter.

Health Minister John Haggie says a potentially less-than-perfect flu vaccine doesn't mean people should skip their flu vaccine this year.

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

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"It is too early for us to know what the flu vaccine effectiveness is for the USA, and we can't make predictions based on what happened in other countries like Australia because it's not an equal comparison", she said.

"Around 7,500 people around the country are now registered with the survey and, during the winter, they voluntarily report if they have had flu-like symptoms during the previous week", said a spokeswoman.

The main flu strain circulating this season called influenza A (H3N2), The Telegraph in Macon reported. The cost of a flu shot is $25, but adjustments can be made for those without insurance to get a flu shot. Flu typically peaks in February and March. "So things spread rapidly through the school system too".

The organization said infection with the flu virus can cause fever, headache, cough, sore throat, runny nose, sneezing and body aches. Those at highest risk for flu complications are pregnant women; the elderly; children younger than 5; and people with asthma, diabetes, chronic heart and lung disease and other chronic conditions.

Wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands. (Your fever should be gone for 24 hours without the use of a fever-reducing medicine). The health department, located at 719 Middle Creek, is open from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and Chambers said they make appointments form the ship between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

If you are caring for a sick individual at home, keep them away from common areas of the house and other people as much as possible.

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