Widespread cases of severe flu strain reported in 41 states
Dr. Marc Siegel weighs in
- Duration 4:25
- Date Jan 7, 2013
Dr. Marc Siegel weighs in
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This transcript is automatically generated
An important medical story to tell you about severe flu strain is spreading across the country according to the CDC.
So far more than 41 states already reporting widespread cases.
And this is really sad includes not only the 151000 cases some of them have actually turned deadly there's a number of children that have died.
Some states already reporting this is their worst flu season in years.
What do you need to know to keep your family healthy.
Let's bring in Fox News medical -- team doctor mark -- -- practicing internist professor of medicine at and why you went on medical center.
Doctor -- great to see you good morning about this -- for a long time so here it is how bad is it.
Because this particular flu Jamie is one that's very similar to one we saw in 2003 it's an influenza a it's an H three N two which is a pretty severe kind of strange you know flow for people out there as easy to understand.
It's a package a tiny package of genetic material covered -- -- below.
The envelope has a couple of proteins HN NH three N two is a variety that's particularly deadly.
Causes a lot of symptoms and enables I call -- an enabler because it enables other infections to get in there.
When you run down like pneumonia like bronchitis like sinus infections.
And those can really get -- so what do we do.
We give a flu shot now this year as opposed to 2003.
The flu shot is a great match -- CDC did a great job this year they identified this before came up to this hemisphere.
They got a great match it's probably sixty to 80% successful -- protecting you.
If you -- if you vaccinate your entire family you create a herd immunity or ring of immunity that protects your most vulnerable members.
The youngest the oldest and those with chronic illnesses and that's what you wanna do it is not too late to get the flu shot right now -- CDC doesn't think this season has -- yet even with those but -- perfectly -- -- this many cases it's early but this kind of strain tends to be early but now it's great warning -- three weeks it take you to get immune.
Get out get your flu shot at this point even out there's still 135 million doses this year can it be clinically diagnosed.
Greg that is a great question that's what I was preparing for coming here the answer is probably yes but not by you.
By me it's called influenza like illness and you heard and and a reporter earlier by Molly Henneberg what is influenza like illness it's a certain kind of symptoms fever.
Muscle weight 5050.
Is the big big symptom at it we called it the grip for the root for a reason the old days.
When -- walk around and actually get really tired you get a headache you get a sore throat you get those muscle aches and you get fever that's influenza like illness.
I don't need to do a flu should a flu test and I can do a rapid flu test a -- I can do that but it's only successful fifty or 60% of the time I'd rather diagnose that clinically if I think you're at risk.
-- -- -- -- medication called Tamiflu which are brought with me here this particular medication.
Is one that can cut down on the symptoms of flu and prevent -- that a prescription this is a prescription only.
Should we have that in the house are ready should week.
Should we prepare ourselves well if you -- vulnerable -- in the house I'd say yes -- but I'm not a big believers -- you should certainly be on the open on the alert for this and if you have someone that is particularly vulnerable like an asthmatic.
-- -- chronic illness but right now the best thing we can do is probably get their flu shot.
41 states are showing widespread activity that means most likely people viewing us out there are in the state where you're seeing a lot of -- You know I always get nervous when I see a doctor would -- loans and on CNN -- -- -- all of -- here but I -- -- nurse gave me.
-- flu shot but Jamie.
Well Jamie is a doctor herself and what in my estimation -- can't on -- house called me every Sunday abductor somebody ahead and I have to tell you she knows almost as much -- has you're kind but but.
I am definitely getting ready to give her -- flu shot -- Agree during the break we don't show -- -- -- That young man.
-- right maybe -- -- that before -- -- -- but don't get credit -- and everybody out there should -- it's not too late as you said in just about everybody's eligible for it.
And that's -- is supply which is great news CDC says everyone over the age of six months should have a Felicia.
Bomb in that category you're right doctor thank you for caring about all our viewers enough to bring this important information and we'll see you tomorrow morning on Sunday house call.
With doctor somebody to -- to -- -- thank the lord the rubber gloves are not for me.