CDC: Flu Season at Peak, Epidemic Levels

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In a media briefing, Dan Jernigan, the director of the Influenza Division of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said this is the first year since his office has tracked flu maps that the entire continental United States has had a widespread flu outbreak, USA Today reports.

The rate of flu hospitalizations almost doubled last week to 22.7 per 100,000 people compared with the previous seven days. During the same time period in the 2014-2015 flu season, 32,528 flu cases were reported statewide.

Flu vaccine can vary in how well it works, but remains the best way to prevent illness and flu complications, including those that can lead to hospitalization, health officials noted.

The flu has hit all areas of the country and the CDC reports that the most recent hospitalization rate for the illness was 22.7 per 100,000 people.

Characterized by the sudden onset of symptoms such as fever or chills, cough, sore throat, runny nose, headaches, and body aches, the flu is not something to take lightly.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services said flu activity in the state for 2017-2018 is widespread, with the season now very similar in timing and the number of cases reported to the 2014-2015 flu season, the most severe in recent years.

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"If you suspect you have the flu, consider seeing your primary care physician". As of the first week in January (the most recent data available), 49 states had widespread flu activity, including CT.

As much as possible, avoid people who are sick. Studies show that for children, a shot can significantly reduce the risk of dying. Stay away from others who are sick and when you're out in public places, keep your hands away from your face until you can wash them.

In Rhode Island, emergency departments at three Providence hospitals had to divert ambulances to other facilities because they were overwhelmed with patients, the Providence Journal reported.

Latest figures show that the number of people suffering from flu in Scotland has more than doubled compared to the same period a year ago, increasing pressure on hospitals.

Overall, 12 people have died from influenza, majority elderly.

Dr. Starck said that mom's immunity to flu is passed onto the baby and helps protect an infant until they are able receive the vaccine at six months of age.

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