Houston Health Department confirms 2 flu-related deaths

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The flu season began in December and the Public Health Agency of Canada says more than 15,500 cases of laboratory-confirmed influenza had been reported by January 6.

Public health officials have announced eight more flu-related deaths in Iowa.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports the flu is now widespread in 46 states, almost four times as many compared with this time a year ago. "Getting vaccinated now will still offer protection from serious disease, hospitalization and death for most of the flu season".

"The levels of illness we are seeing are still well within the normal range for what we see in a typical flu season", said Dr. Robert Strang, chief medical officer of health for Nova Scotia.

Even though the vaccine may not be well matched, it doesn't mean you shouldn't get a flu shot, CDC officials say.

According to CDC director Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald, "While our flu vaccines are far from flawless, they are the best way to prevent getting sick from the flu, and it is not too late to get one".

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Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Therefore, in any given year, what dictates the overall effectiveness of the flu in any given person are a combination of the age of the patient and their overall health, especially as it pertains to their immune system. "That's a good rule of thumb when they're washing their hands". If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub. Reports of flu cases have risen all over the country, with Collin County cities experiencing sharp increases.

Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu.

Local media outlets report Carmel Christian School in Matthews canceled classes Thursday and Friday after reports of a flu-like outbreak which has affected more than 160 students. Get a flu shot. If you touch something, it gets on you.

"What we're seeing this year the influenza season started earlier and seems to be peaking right about now", Jernigan, director of the Influenza Division in the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD) at CDC, told "GMA".

Grayson and Nicki Andrews are registered infection prevention nurses at Texas Health Resources, and just last week, they diagnosed 63 positive flu cases, with more to come.