Health officials in NY say the flu is spreading rapidly across the state.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the strain H3N2 is responsible for the majority of the deadliest cases reported this season.
Influenza monitoring at the state Department of Health shows that this season's number of positive flu cases-855 between October 7 and December 23-is a 62 percent increase over the number of cases at this point a year ago. The victim was an 83-year-old New Castle County woman living in a nursing home.
Antiviral drugs (which require a doctor's orders) won't totally cure the flu, but they can make symptoms milder and shorter, and they are especially effective if taken in the first 48 hours of illness onset.
The goal is "to manage/screen an influx of walk-in flu patients today", the hospital said in a statement to KNSD Thursday.
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The same strain was primarily responsible for sickening more than 1,000 people in Australia, where health officials estimated that vaccines only prevented some 10 percent of strains.
Symptoms of flu include: fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, body aches, headaches, and fatigue. All but five of the state's 75 counties officially reported influenza cases.
-Even if you got vaccinated last year, it is important to get vaccinated again this year to protect from changing flu viruses.
Officials also said that it is not too late for residents to get flu shots and that they should continue to wash their hands and stay away from people who are sick.
In the US, influenza activity has significantly increased over recent weeks with the Influenza A (H3N2) virus strain predominating. Those who were vaccinated and still get the flu are "less likely to have the complications of pneumonia, having to be hospitalized and dying", said Schaffner.