More than 6 million already hit by flu, CDC says

Desiree Burns
January 14, 2019

"Calculations are based on adjusted rates of laboratory-confirmed, influenza-associated hospitalizations collected through a surveillance network that covers approximately 8.5 percent of the USA population, or about 27 million people", the CDC said. Agency officials are providing the estimates for the first time during flu season as a way to underscore the risks of serious complications of the respiratory virus and to encourage people to get vaccinated.

The weekly flu report published Friday by the Public Health Agency of Canada shows that from Dec. 30 to January 5, lab-confirmed influenza cases are down from the week prior, suggesting the flu season may have reached its peak during the last week of December.

Between six million and seven million people have been diagnosed with the flu during the 2018-2019 season, with roughly half seeking medication treatment, government officials say.

But the report warns that the number of flu cases across the country remain high.

Ontario is probably just getting into the thick of things for the flu, said Dr. Michelle Murti, a public health physician at Public Health Ontario.

Each year seasonal flu places a significant burden on the health of people in the United States.

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In New Brunswick, where no children have died with a lab-confirmed diagnosis of influenza, the virus still seems to be targeting a younger demographic than in the last few seasons.

If you are sick with flu-like illness, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities.

The CDC said that reported cases tend to increase in November before peaking between December and February.

The health agency also released new estimates of how the flu season is playing out.

Experts say it's not too late to reap the benefits of a flu vaccine.

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