Flu widespread across most of U.S., with 3 new kids' deaths

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The Centers for Disease Control says this flu season isn't as bad as some we've seen recently.but it doesn't mean we're in the clear.

For young children, the elderly, and people with compromised immune systems, the flu virus can be deadly, and it isn't always obvious who is vulnerable. Vermont and New Hampshire are not seeing that many cases but the numbers are growing.

However, Skowronski said people interested in the vaccine are still encouraged to get it earlier in the season before the annual flu peak.

The department of health defines a flu-related death as a "death resulting from a clinically compatible illness that was confirmed to be influenza by an appropriate laboratory or rapid diagnostic test with no period of complete recovery between the illness and death".

That's the message from B.C.'s top doctor as flu season continues, and this one has hit a bit differently than in years past.

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Calgary has been a hotbed of flu activity this season, with a total of nine deaths in the city linked to the virus. "Vaccinated people can still get the flu but develop a milder illness than if they didn't get the vaccine". The CDC recommends flu vaccinations and also lots of hand washing. "Given how effective the vaccine was, I think that really highlights the importance of getting the vaccine", he said. A health care provider can help people know what vaccinations they need and when to get them.

But the experts say it's not too late to act on something that can go a long way when it comes to avoiding this contagious virus. This is the overall rate with a higher proportion of people who are 65 and older requiring hospitalization (38.3 per every 100,000), followed by children up to age 4 (26.5 per every 100,000).

This year's flu shot has been 72 per cent effective at preventing infections in Canada, according to a scientific study. If you are sick, stay home from work, school or social activities for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone and limit your time with others to a minimum while you are sick.

Health visitor Rosi Jones, who works in the Abertawe Bro Morgannwg area, said: "It will not give your child flu, but some children may experience mild side effects, including a runny nose".

In recent years, one of the biggest myths about childhood vaccines was that they can cause autism in children.

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