Hospital bans young visitors during flu season

The flu vaccine is drawn from the vile into the needle at Crawford Kids Clinic in Aurora Colorado

The flu vaccine is drawn from the vile into the needle at Crawford Kids Clinic in Aurora Colorado. Brent Lewis—Denver Post via Getty Images

Ottawa, in contrast, was seeing a lower rate of influenza overall and among children than the national rates as of the end of the year (the most recent numbers). This was mostly among children ages 0-4 years old.

Cadieux noted that flu season peaked early this year in Alberta, but has yet to peak in Ottawa.

An estimated 80,000 people died during the 2017-2018 flu season, according to the CDC.

Seventy-one of those kids had to be admitted to the ICU. That applies to data collected on both adults and children.

With illness spreading and months of flu season left to go, experts still recommend getting a flu shot.

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That's just confirmed tests.

"What I can tell you is that the people who have been hospitalized and the deaths that were associated with the flu this year are people who have not been immunized, a majority of them have not been immunized", said Dr. Jennifer Russell, chief medical officer of health for New Brunswick.

Twenty-four states and Guam were reporting widespread influenza activity - meaning the virus has spread to many parts of the state, regardless of severity - as of December 29, the latest date included in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) weekly flu report. H3N2, the strain largely responsible for last year's outbreak, has so far been less common than the H1N1 strain. "This year's vaccine is a good match for circulating strains and it is not too late to get the vaccine", he said. Even if you think you had the flu already, it is possible to get a second infection with a different strain, so immunization can still be beneficial.

"So we would like everybody who's eligible to get the vaccine", said Russell, noting that it takes about two weeks for antibodies induced by the shot to come into full effect.

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