A child has died from the flu, the New Jersey Health Department announced Tuesday, making it the first flu-related pediatric death of the season in the state.
"It's a different season, different profile". Those at higher risk of flu complications include children under five, pregnant women, the elderly and those with chronic illnesses.
Flu season lasts until May.
"Flu activity has taken off our projection is that it's going to continue to increase, probably for the next few months", says Dr. Andrew Walshak with Presbyterian/ St. Luke's Medical Center. Just 13 per cent of lab-confirmed flu cases were among children under four in Ottawa, compared with 47 per cent among seniors over 65. That's more than double the activity of the previous week. "It's just a slow upward, so we're only at the beginning of flu season right now".
"We're really just now getting into our flu season", said Dr. Michelle Murti of Public Health Ontario, noting that the proportion of tests on people with respiratory bugs that came back positive for influenza had doubled to 16 per cent in the week ending December 29, compared to eight per cent the week before.
New Brunswick's peak might come somewhat sooner, as cases there began spreading in late November.
Nor has CHEO seen the kind of spike in influenza-related hospitalizations among children being reported in other parts of the country, said spokesman Paddy Moore. However, health officials say the flu shot works better against that strain. H3N2, the strain largely responsible for last year's outbreak, has so far been less common than the H1N1 strain. Vaccines protect against multiple flu strains. You can not get the flu from the flu shot, but immunity usually takes about two weeks to develop.
"It's not too late".