What you need to know if you haven't gotten the flu (yet)

In Massachusetts, the highest rates of flu-like cases stem from the Northeast in Essex County, where a 4.66 percent influenza-like-illness activity level has been reported.

"People suffering with flu-like symptoms should catch coughs or sneezes in tissues and bin them immediately, wash their hands regularly with soap and warm water and frequently clean regularly used surfaces to stop the spread of flu".

At least 31 people are thought to have died from the flu in France since November 1, slightly less than the number killed in Britain during the same period. This happens every year as soon as the Christmas celebrations are over but this year, the Aussie flu strain is particularly virulent. And three children in Tennessee have died of flu so far this month.

Since Oct. 1, MI has had zero deaths attributed to the flu. Even though we are already well into the flu season, there is still plenty of time to benefit from a flu shot.

Flu outbreaks have also been reported in Switzerland, which shares a border with France, and nearby Holland.

To avoid overcrowding emergency departments, it's recommended patients check with their healthcare provider or an urgent care before going to the ER, and if coughing, wear a mask to the doctor's office. And in Arkansas, 14 percent of all physicians clinical visits were due to flu-like symptoms.

It has been dubbed Aussie flu as it is the same strain that caused big problems for Australia during its winter season, leading to its worst flu season for almost a decade. The state Department of Public Health in CT recently labeled the virus as "widespread" in the state.

Jimmy Whitworth, professor of worldwide public health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said: "Those who are eligible for the flu vaccine should make sure they receive it".

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But is it too late to get one? .

The number of flu deaths doubled and thousands more cases were reported last week, but county supervisors backed away from declaring a local health emergency Tuesday after receiving assurances from public health officials that current resources are enough to handle the situation.

"It's an imperfect vaccine, but it's the best we have, and it still does provide a terrific amount of protection", Schaffner told ABC News.

Public Health England estimates the typical effectiveness of the flu vaccine is between 40% and 60%.

In one case, the patient died of pneumonia after contracting the Type B influenza virus, CDC doctor Tsou Tsung-pei (鄒宗珮) said, adding that the 77-year-old man also had cancer and a history of chronic disease.

Scott Countians can inquire about a free vaccine by calling the health department at 423-663-2445.

SUPER SPREADERS Who's most at risk of killer "Aussie flu" - and how does it turn deadly?

Cover your mouth and nose.