Why you're more likely to get the flu this year


- With the flu now considered "widespread" across Minnesota, according to the state health department, hospitals are implementing visitor restrictions.

The flu season, usually about 12 weeks long, may have started earlier than normal, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

The Alabama Department of Public Health has issued a warning about flu activity, saying reports and activity levels are up across the state.

MINNEAPOLIS - 'Tis the season for getting sick and health officials say it's definitely making the rounds.

Adults 65 years and older. To lessen your chance of getting sick this winter - Keep your distance from others if you have cold or flu-like symptoms.

For the week of December 17-23, 241 people had lab-confirmed flu cases in Greene County, the release said. People at higher risk of severe disease who show flu symptoms should contact their medical provider. That's up from 84 cases reported during the previous week.

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Symptoms of the flu include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches and fatigue.

Two more people have died from flu-related illnesses in Dallas County, public health officials said on Thursday.

"This year's flu is primarily of the H3N2 strain, and years with H3N2 tend to be particularly deadly, especially for the very young and elderly", the health website announced in a statement.

"They're seeing that it's anywhere from 10 percent to 33 percent effective", she said, "so any time there's a mismatch between the vaccine and the circulating strain of the flu, you're going to see more cases".

-Even if you got vaccinated last year, it is important to get vaccinated again this year to protect from changing flu viruses.

San Diego physicians are encouraging all residents to get a flu vaccination as a precaution.