"Winter pressures have a major impact on our health service, but by getting vaccinated against flu, we can play our part in reducing the burden and helping to protect our own health too", she added.
About 38 per cent of those people diagnosed with the flu since September 1, 2018 were between 20 and 64 years old, while close to 36 per cent were 65 years of age and older, OPH says.
The Public Health Agency (PHA) is urging all remaining eligible people whose health could be seriously affected by flu to get the free flu vaccine.
It takes approximately two weeks after vaccination for your body to develop protection against the flu.
"The peak of influenza activity really happened around New Years but it certainly hasn't gone away entirely", said Gray. So far this year, there have been 1,232 confirmed flu cases. ODH reported the state's first pediatric death due to influenza on Wednesday.
Avoid close contact with infected people Stay home if you suspect you have the flu Wash your hands frequently, using warm soapy water and scrubbing for at least 20 seconds Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth, as you can infect yourself with flu germs this way Cover your mouth and nose when sneezing, and ask others to do the same.
Although most people fully recover from the flu, some experience severe illness like pneumonia and respiratory failure, and the flu can sometimes be fatal. People with health conditions, older people and pregnant women should get the vaccine now to help protect their health and the health of others around them.