Health department sees increase in seasonal flu activity

The program would include activities such as providing public funds for seasonal influenza vaccines to cover individuals in the target group, and developing mechanisms for the implementation of immunization and reporting, the statement said.

As of December 29, New Brunswick had 579 lab-confirmed cases, 577 of them influenza A and two of influenza B. Of those, 71 people were hospitalized, 15 were admitted to the ICU and there were three deaths. This was mostly among children ages 0-4 years old.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 80,000 people of all ages in the United States died of the flu and its complications during last year's season. It is especially important for those under 5, over 65, nursing home residents and people with chronic medical conditions. Thirteen children have died from the flu so far this season.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the flu has already spread in nearly half of the country, with 19 states reporting high levels of influenza-like illness activity.

HSE public health and director of HPSC Dr Kevin Kelleher said that data showed that flu levels were likely to increase over the coming weeks when flu begins to actively circulate in the community. "Less often, a person might get flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes".

Experts say it takes about two weeks to build up immunity against the virus after getting vaccinated.

But most importantly, before flu season peaks, people should make it a top priority to go to or call their county health department or health care provider to be vaccinated.

The flu season is far from over though.

The vaccine you get may also help to protect others.

"Complacency worries me most of all".

It also highlights the need for influenza vaccine effectiveness estimates and the importance of the U.S. Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness Network in providing updated information for committee recommendations, he said.

During the last week of 2018 in Missouri, 653 cases of influenza were confirmed through laboratory testing.