The last week of 2017 saw a sharp increase in cases of influenza in the United States, with 46 states reporting widespread flu.
The bad news is that the peak of this year’s season is just getting underway.
Health officials are saying the season is shaping up to be a particularly severe one, with the number of flu cases reported at nearly four times the number of cases at the same time last year.
"This is a bad bug," Dr. Daniel Jernigan, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Influenza Division, said. "What we're seeing this year, the influenza season started earlier and seems to be peaking right about now. That's about a month earlier than it normally would be peaking," he said, "so lots of cases are happening, in lots of states, all at the same time.”
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H3N2 is the strain of flu that has been seen most this season, and it has proven to be a deadly strain. At least 13 children in the United States have died from the flu this season.
"In years when there is H3N2, we do see that there are more deaths,” Jernigan said.
It’s not too late to get a flu inoculation, CDC officials said this week. It takes about two weeks for the vaccine to be fully effective.
The CDC tracks information about the spread of the flu using data sent from state health departments to create and maintain an “influenza surveillance map.” The map shows the number of flu cases reported to each state’s health department and where the flu is hitting the hardest.
Below are the links to each state’s health department, where localized information about influenza can be found. Click on the website and look for a listing called “Surveillance Reports,” or “Surveillance Maps,” then look for the week’s report to give you the latest information.
Click here for more information on this year’s flu, and here for information for parents about children and the flu.
- District of Columbia
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
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