Health department offers free flu vaccine - while supplies last

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Citrus Memorial Hospital spokeswoman Katie Myers said her facility is seeing an increase in emergency room activity but not due to the flu.

The flu season has swamped the urgent care clinic at Kingman Regional Medical Center, where more than 200 patients have been treated for flu-like symptoms in the last three weeks.

Residents suffering from flu-like symptoms can take solace they're not alone after Hays County officials estimated more than 300 confirmed cases of the virus at the end of December.

The majority of the confirmed cases of the flu were between the ages of 18 and 49.

In Denton County the demand for the flu vaccine has increased in the past month.

Influenza is so rampant in North Texas that Dallas Methodist Hospital is actually having to turn away patients with non-severe cases of the illness.

Gunzenhauser stressed it is not too late to get vaccinated. Estimates are that it's about 32% effective, while last year it was 39% effective and most years it's 40% to 60% effective.

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"Flu vaccines can vary in effectiveness from season to season but they continue to be the best way to prevent influenza infection and serious influenza complications", according to the FDOH.

We also reached out to the health departments in Benton, Carroll, Clinton, Fountain and Warren counties. "It's always the best defense against the flu and to protect yourself, your family and those around you".

Flu season lasts from October to May. "You've got the body aches, the chills, the cough and the fever".

The 2017-18 flu season in OH and nationally is looking similar to what was seen during the 2014-15 flu season which at the time was the most severe flu season in recent years, according to the (CDC). The department also advises people to get their flu shots now. They include the Tri City Health Partnership in St. Charles, which serves people who are uninsured or underinsured; it has ample vaccines on hand, said Kim Lamansky, executive director.

A total of 24 adult severe influenza cases have been reported up until January 9, causing 10 deaths.

Harding said the flu can be especially rough, and even fatal, on the elderly, the very young or patients with certain other medical conditions.

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