Saturday, December 22, 2012

More evidence of nasty flu season ahead

There’s more evidence that this is shaping up to be a nasty flu season, with the number of states with high flu activity doubling in a week and reports of the achy, feverish illness spreading widely across the U.S.

Eight states are now reporting high levels of what’s known as influenza-like illness, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Eighteen states reported widespread flu activity for the week that ended Dec. 8, according to the agency’s FluView data.

"Today’s report confirms that the U.S. flu season is off to early start,” CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden said in a statement. “It’s too early to tell how severe our season might be. However, we know that thousands die and hundreds of thousands of people are hospitalized with flu each year. Vaccination is the single most important step we can take to protect ourselves and our families against infection. It's not too late to get vaccinated before the flu season peaks.”
The good news, though, is that this year’s vaccines are well-matched to the viruses, CDC officials said.
The eight states with high levels of flu activity include Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.

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