Special to the Ely Times 

Have you wondered if you were too late in the game to get a flu shot? The answer is, no, it’s never too late.

While the talk all over news stations, and social media is currently about the coronavirus, there are two types of Influenza, A and B that seem to be traveling through White Pine right now, that’s leaving the after hours clinic busy with patients wearing masks, and the pharmacy packed with repeat prescriptions of antiobitics, and other pharmaceuticals to help kill the virus.

The legendary 1917–18 flu pandemic killed 50 million people worldwide. Not content to be devastatingly lethal, the disease in those years also behaved in odd that are not typically flu-like. While influenza deaths usually are concentrated in the very young and very old, during the pandemic,  almost half the deaths were in young adults 20-40 years old, something never seen before or since. The 1917–18 pandemic also came in waves, hitting several locations repeatedly.

Luckily a pandemic has not been reported with the current flu strains that seem to be circulating schools, public spaces and businesses, perhaps giving more people a reason to add a mask to your daily attire.

The Center for Disease Control said it is still too early to know if the season has peaked.  Although a “B” strain of virus has been more prevalent early in the season, officials are now seeing an upstick in cases with a strain of the “A” virus.  The “B” virus has been diganosed more among children and young adults up to 24 years old, while an “A” virus has been more common among adults 65 and older.

Previously, officials with the CDC said this year’s flu season was on track to be one of the worst in decades.

The agency estimates there have been at least 13 million flu illneses, 120,000 hospitalizations and 6,600 deaths from flu so far this season.  That includes 39 children who have died from the flu.

So what can you do to help? Stay home and get plenty of rest.  Mind your flu manners…drink plenty of fluids, make sure you get more liquids.  Treat aches and fever.  Got a fever? Take care of your cough.  Over-the-counter treatments can calm your cough. Sit in a steamy bathroom, run the humidifier, try a lozenge,

Dr. Jay Fisher, medical director of the Pediatric Emergency Department at UMC Children’s Hospital says he has seen some close calls this season.

“We’ve had to put several children on life support systems over the last few months because of the flu…usually having to do with brain inflammation and heart inflammation associated with the flu,” added Dr. Fisher.

Dr. Fisher says people have to realize this is not a cold. This is a virus that can have a life-threatening consequence, and parents need to pay attention to the warning signs.