The flu season is well under way across the United States with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reporting that between 6 million and 7 million people have already come down with the illness.CDC officials said Friday that half of those afflicted sought medical attention. As many as 84,000 were hospitalized.In addition, 24 states reported widespread influenza activity in early January.Experts say rates of influenza are generally above-average levels across the country.
“At the end of 2018, flu activity was high in New York City and 19 states, including most of the American southwest and New Jersey. It’s still low in Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and 22 of our 50 states, but that will change as the season progresses,” Stephen Morse, PhD, a professor of epidemiology at the Columbia University Medical Center in New York, told Healthline.
H1N1 has been the most common strain of the virus seen so far this season, which experts anticipate will be milder than last year’s strain.The 2017/2018 influenza season was considered one of high severity by the CDC with high rates of emergency department visits and widespread flu activity over an extended period.By the end of October 2018, 185 pediatric deaths from flu complications were reported to the CDC, with 80 percent of deaths occurring in children who hadn’t been vaccinated against influenza.