Tennessee hospital sees early increase in flu cases

Global surveillance is crucial to pandemic preparedness by identifying viruses overseas that might pose a human health risk to people in the United States

Since Oct. 1, 2,485 laboratory-confirmed influenza-associated hospitalizations have been reported, translating to a cumulative overall rate of 8.7 hospitalizations per 100,000 people in the United States, the CDC said.

Twelve of those deaths were in Alberta Health Services Calgary Zone.

Three more pediatric flu deaths were reported, raising the total to 12 this season.

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Dr. Ifeoma Achebe, medical officer of health with AHS Central Zone, said there were only four flu-related deaths this time previous year in Alberta, 1,026 cases, and 259 in hospital.

Influenza researchers have blamed this decreased effectiveness on the most common process of vaccine manufacturing, which uses chicken eggs.

Though it's still too early to say whether this winter will be a bad flu season, epidemiologists in 36 states - including NY - have already reported "widespread influenza activity", according to data released by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday. "But this year we started seeing it earlier in November, even October in Calgary Zone, so this year is a bit different".

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A media release from the ADPH reminds the public that the flu is a very contagious respiratory illness, with symptoms including fever, cough, sore throat, runny/stuffy nose, headache, muscle aches and extreme fatigue.

Flu vaccine is free to all Albertans six months of age and older and continues to be available through AHS, pharmacies and physicians.

"Everybody, who I've seen, who've had flu, a lot of them have not had the flu shot", DeMoss told ABC affiliate KABC-TV. "It's not as severe as it would have been if you didn't get the shot".

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He is now in concussion protocol but hoping to be cleared to play in UCLA's Cacus Bowl game against Kansas State on Tuesday. The 6-foot-4 junior suffered the second concussion of the season in the Bruins' regular-season finale against California.

"The last couple of years we didn't see it in December, but a few years back we did", she said. Both influenza A and influenza B viruses are circulating, with mixed patterns detected across the region, including higher proportions of influenza B than influenza A and more 2009 H1N1 than H3N2.

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