Flu season is not over yet, the CDC cautions

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Confirmed flu cases have doubled compared to previous years, but health officials say this year is still within what is considered average, but may be a bit abnormal from other flu seasons.

This year's total of 276 deaths, however, is the highest in a decade, with almost three months remaining in the flu season.

A woman in her 60s, with underlying medical conditions, also died as a result of complications related to the flu. Jamie Dukes with the State Health Department says the older population is the most vulnerable.

Still, another five children have died, bringing the total to 119, and the flu rages on in many areas of the country, according to the latest report from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

But nationally, influenza B is on the rise, as is typical in the latter part of the season.

"In terms of the level of severity, we are still within range of what's normal, but we are at the high end of that range", said Dr. Robert Strang, chief medical health officer for Nova Scotia.

The report, which accumulated flu data from October 1, 2017 to March 3, 2018, stated 207 Iowans have died this season due to influenza-related activity.

Gupta said the DHHR is monitoring the formulation of next year's vaccine.

The flu season is not over and health officials urged residents to help prevent the virus from spreading by staying home when sick and practicing good hygiene.

Among adults, the proportion of pneumonia- and flu-related deaths decreased to 8.8% of all deaths reported during the seventh week of the year, the CDC reported, noting that these data are always two weeks delayed.

Cabaj said the flu vaccine target set by Alberta Health this season was 35 per cent of the population - a goal that hasn't yet been reached.

Caused by viruses, flu is a contagious respiratory illness with mild to severe symptoms that can sometimes lead to death. "However, the reality of such a vaccine is likely to still be many years away", Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in prepared remarks to the House Energy and Commerce Committee. If you use tissues, throw them away immediately - and then wash your hands.

Over 1.21 million doses of flu vaccine have been administered to Albertans.