Latest flu report shows flu is now 'widespread' in Iowa

California has reported 27 deaths so far this flu-season and hospitals have begun turning patients away due to overcrowded emergency rooms

An additional 46 people died from the flu last week, bringing the total number of fatalities to 91, the County Health and Human Services Agency announced.

Vaccine manufacturers, the World Health Organization and others are studying the situation to determine if that was the case, she said.

"We watch flu very carefully throughout the health authority. However, it is not unusual for spot shortages to occur when flu activity is high", CDC spokeswoman Kristen Nordlund wrote in an email.

Derek Forster, medical director for infection, prevention, and control says the procedures are created to help protect, patients, visitors, and staff from exposure to the flu virus.

Same story here in the panhandle but is it really that much different than any other year?

Last year, Australia had a worse flu season than usual, which some experts predicted would bode ill for Northern Hemisphere nations, including the United States and Canada and across Europe.

"What's important about influenza B is actually its impact on kids", Tam said.

The Health Department said this year's rate of infection is the third fastest in the last eight years. Horton said they've seen it in children and middle-age adults, too. The quadrivalent vaccine available in Canada right now covers the B strain that is currently circulating, she said.

It says the H3N2 canine virus is highly transmissible between dogs and has become widespread in parts of Asia and caused outbreaks in some US locations, particularly in shelters.

The number of people testing positive for influenza also is significantly higher than in past years across the state and nation. As it turns out, the most common influenza virus in Australia last season was influenza A H3N2. St. Vincent hospital says it is already on track to have more than twice as many flu cases this month than last, leading to an overflow of patients. There have been 34 reported deaths. The next-largest group affected was of those ages 45 to 64; they represented 19 per cent of cases, followed by those 20 to 44, who accounted for 18 per cent.

Additionally, flu activity has increased above baseline levels in most countries in northern and southwestern Europe, according to the WHO. There have been fewer than five pediatric deaths.

Dr. Jonathan Blum, an infectious disease specialist at Kaiser Permanente Santa Clara, was on call during the week between Christmas and New Year's Day, and he said the influx in patients sickened by the flu was remarkable.

"There are early indicators that this influenza season is a little bit more severe compared to prior influenza seasons".

"We're seeing the worst of it right now", said Dr.

"The predominant virus this year has been influenza A H3N2, and that is the virus that - because it affects elderly and young children more than the others - tend to be the ones that are more severe, and by severe I mean they have more hospitalizations and frequently more deaths in those years", said Lynette Brammer, head of the CDC's Domestic Influenza Surveillance team.

Flu season could get worse because of an imperfect vaccine and steady cold weather, according to a report from the New York Times.

"Even though it's not ideal, it's still the best protection we have".