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Latest figures from Health Protection Scotland (HPS) show just over 41% of those aged under 65, who are considered "at risk", have had their flu jab this winter - but cases of flu have more than doubled compared to the same time past year.

"Most states are seeing an increase right now, and we are no exception", Buchanan said.

The news comes as the United Kingdom is in the grip of the current flu season, with rates of primary care consultations and hospitalisations increasing week by week.

Prof Keith Willett, NHS England's medical director for acute care, said children were "super-spreaders" and the flu season "traditionally reaches its peak" at Christmas.

"Usually starts in September, lasts til about January or February", said Bryan County Health Department spokesperson Lisa Maynard.

We are learning emergency rooms across the Tri-State are overrun by cases of the flu.

The Ohio Department of Health reports that there were more than 900 influenza-related hospitalizations during the last week of 2017 alone, with 122 of those in central Ohio.

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Doctors blame an aggressive strain of the influenza virus, H3N2, and a flu vaccine that's proven to be only about 30 percent effective against it. He said things will likely get worse before improving. More than 2,100 people have been hospitalized for flu statewide, according to state health officials.

"The vaccine is the best protection there is against flu", he added.

In recent weeks the flu has spread rapidly across California and the entire nation, impacting hospitals and emergency departments, including Santa Barbara, Goleta Valley and Santa Ynez Valley Cottage Hospitals.

"Flu can be very serious and the flu jab can protect you and your family and help ease the pressure on our A&E departments, which are very busy at this time of year".

"It turns out that that's about as good the flu vaccine has always been", he said. Hand sanitizer is good, too, but it doesn't replace hand washing.

Some people are more vulnerable to becoming ill in the colder months, including those with long term conditions like diabetes and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).