If you are caring for a sick individual at home, keep them away from common areas of the house and other people as much as possible.
Every state in the continental United States is seeing widespread flu activity, according to the CDC, and in Florida those cases are skyrocketing. "Flu seasons every year are bad so there's never a mild flu season", said Dan Jernigan, director of the CDC's influenza division on a January 12 call with reporters.
Dr. Fitzgerald said that as of this month, manufacturers report they have shipped more than 151 million doses of flu vaccines, so they should be readily available.
"My wife's turned into pneumonia so it was worse for her than it was for me, we did not get our flu shots, get your flu shots", Collins said. "This is not an uncommon infection". "Compared to this date past year we're seeing in some states more than twice as many flu victims".
But health experts say that the flu can be especially bad and even deadly in children under 5 years of age and those with a compromised immune system.
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CDC officials say this season is on track to potentially match the 2014-2015 season, which was severe.
"They've clearly shown this excess of risk in people born in particular years and that just tells us that there's more to the risk profile of influenza than we previously thought", Upshur said. Most family physicians, pediatrician offices, primary care clinics and pharmacies offer the influenza vaccine. And cover your mouth and nose when you cough and sneeze.
The work scientists and microbiologist do here at the state health lab in Taylorsville is vital to understanding not just this year's flu, but hopefully next years.
"The end of the season really won't be until April", she said. Symptoms can include cough, sore throat, muscle aches, headache, chills, feelings of extreme tiredness, and fever.
Because elderly people are so vulnerable to the flu, some nursing homes and assisted-living facilities may limit visitors and resident activities, depending on the level of illness. According to Dr. Ian Tong from Doctor on Demand, your doctor could choose to start your child on an "antiviral medicine within the first 48 hours, because it can lead to a shorter and milder illness", adding, "It's important to act fast".