"The flu can be a deadly illness, and every year thousands of people die from it", said Franklin County Public Health medical director Miller Sullivan. Grey said that around the state there have been 18 flu-associated deaths, 12 in the last week. Compared to previous year, they've seen twice the number of flu patients this month, and they're all affected by Strain A.
In their weekly influenza activity report, state health officials categorize the outbreak of the disease in the Granite State as "regional", while the spread of influenza has been labeled "widespread" in 46 other states, according to the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDPC). So far this season, there have been 1029 lab-confirmed cases. "Those four things you really get nearly always with the flu", Dr. Dreiling said.
TDH also recommends people who are sick or have sick people in their households, such as small children be particularly careful when considering visiting friends or loved ones in hospitals, long-term care facilities and other places where sick and vulnerable people live or receive care.
While it is showing up a little earlier than other years, Influenza B often produces a milder illness compared to strains of Influenza A, and is covered by this year's flu vaccine.
"The one thing that is different, which is happening across the country, is usually we see Influenza A first and then Influenza B, which usually occurs near the end of the season in March or April".
"Influenza vaccine is still available and people can still get immunized".
Four of the victims were adults and one was a child. Cone Health leaders say emergency room visits are stacked with people experiencing flu-like symptoms.
In the last 20 years [the estimated number of people presenting flu symptoms] hasn't reached that height.
Peak flu season is beginning to hit early.
Flu vaccinations had an effectiveness rate of about 32 percent, Berg said, getting a flu shot can be "life-saving". Those in most danger of flu complications, according to the CDC, include the chronically ill, pregnant women or women who have just given birth and native Americans.