Longford people in flu risk group are urged to get vaccinated

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A young child who died after testing positive for influenza is the first pediatric-flu associated death in Riverside County this flu season, health officials said Wednesday.

During the same timeframe, there were only two reported deaths from influenza a year ago.

The health department tracks reports of flu-like illnesses across the county in hospitals, assisted-living centers and schools.

Public Health won't consider the flu season to be active until that threshold has been crossed for two straight weeks.

There have been 1,723 lab confirmed cases of the flu since September 1.

"As long as flu viruses are circulating, it is not too late to get vaccinated, even in January or later", the CDC says on its website.

"So we're probably on track to coming up to more of our peak activity in the next couple of weeks or so". "We're seeing it affecting preschoolers at a higher level". Typically, the Atlantic province begins seeing a surge of flu in late December, following the close-quarters socializing of the Christmas holidays when the virus finds lots of hosts to infect. Since then, it's been H3N2, which tends to affect seniors.

The Saskatchewan Health Authority has also reported 13 outbreaks of influenza in long-term care facilities.

Shahab said immunization rates for kids should be higher.

Last year, the vaccine was about 40 percent effective, the U.S. CDC said, while it was 48 percent effective in 2016-17 and 59 percent effective in 2015-16.

"While most people will get better themselves from flu, anyone who is concerned about their condition should telephone their GP or an out of hours medical service so they can arrange to be treated in a way that does not put others at risk", he explained.

He said children were not among the flu fatalities so far and they also do not include any pregnant women.

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