This year's flu vaccine almost 60% more effective than last year

The flu-related death toll in Alberta has reached 25.

The number of New Yorkers hospitalized by the flu during the past week was 786 a 12% increase from the last report.

The flu season in Iowa this season is widespread, meaning "there's a fair amount of activity", Pedati said.

Regarding hospitalizations for flu, the overall rate rose to 14.8 per 100,000 population, up from 12.4 per 100,000 population the week before.

There have been seven outbreaks in long-term care facilities investigated and seven schools across the state reported more than 10 percent absenteeism due to illness since the start of the flu season on August 30.

The flu season typically peaks between Christmas and New Year's Eve, said Waters.

This year's influenza season to date has taken a less severe turn than the previous season, indicating to state public health officials more Iowans heeded the warnings to get a flu shot. For the last three weeks, the health authority has seen fewer than three new lab-confirmed cases a day, down from five new cases a day, Waters said.

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.

As of January 12, more than 600 children aged 16 and under had been hospitalized, with 93 of them ending up in intensive care and at least seven - all under age 10 - dying from complications of the flu, says the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC).

Doctors say that preliminary reports show the flu shot seems to have reduced the risk posed by the H1N1 flu strain by approximately 72 percent. The CDC recommends flu vaccinations and also lots of hand washing.

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.

The symptoms of swine flu in people are similar to the symptoms of regular seasonal influenza which include, lethargy, lack of appetite and coughing.

The decline is influenced by several factors, including the antigen used in the vaccine, the age of the person being vaccinated, and the person's general health (for example, certain chronic health conditions may have an impact on immunity).

  • Santos West