"It's always important to still get your vaccine".
"That strain of flu tends to change more rapidly than other strains from the time we know it's circulating to the time the vaccine is made", said Dr. Sharon Welbel with the Cook County Health and Hospitals System.
On Jan. 3, Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital in Geneva and its sister hospitals implemented visitor restrictions.
Of the cases, 406 were confirmed influenza and 311 people were hospitalized - with more than half in the 65-plus age group. It also reported that outpatient visits to doctors with influenzalike symptoms were above normal in every region of the country. Wischmeier says people can be contagious a day before being affected by the illness.
Jill Baber, influenza surveillance coordinator with the Division of Disease Control with the state, said eight cases have resulted in death, and two of those were in the state's northeast quadrant. "But even if it isn't the exact strain, or a hundred-percent match, which it really can't be, it still provides some coverage, and if people do get the flu, if they've gotten the flu shot, it usually is not as severe or as long".
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention says flu activity in the USA increased sharply during the first week of January, and is now categorized as widespread in 46 states.
"People will still benefit from taking the vaccine", he said. At this time a year ago, there were 834 total cases, with 282 in the final week of December.
In children aged under 18, routine surveillance of severe influenza-associated complications or deaths is ongoing. Wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your mouth, nose and eyes.
In addition to vaccination, public information officer Alexandra Reed said consistent hand washing and staying home if you are sick are the keys to preventing the virus' spread. Antiviral drugs work best when administered within two days of getting sick. But the symptoms will be milder and probably have a shorter duration. Residents with questions should contact their health care provider.
A health representative from Tippecanoe County said they did not want to comment.
Last week it reported that as of December 30, there have been 13 reported cases of influenza-related intensive care unit admission. There have been four outbreaks of influenza at long-term care/assisted living facilities in the county.
Schneider also said that this year happens to be the 100-year anniversary of the Spanish Flu Pandemic that killed 20 to 50 million people worldwide.
Anyone who is particularly at risk - including the elderly and those with heart and/or lung conditions - should seek immediate medical attention if they show flu-like symptoms.
With the fresh deaths, the death toll due to H1N1 influenza in Kashmir has risen to 27 this season, which is highest so far. Both are indicated by coughing and a runny nose, but the flu is separated by headaches, chills, a possible fever and extreme fatigue.