CDC: Flu Season Is Worsening
The 2016-2017 flu season is looking a bit worse than it did at this time last year—which was relatively mild—according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Every state is currently reporting influenza outbreaks, with widespread flu activity in Northwest, the Northeast, and parts of the mid-Atlantic region.
Young children, the elderly, and people with chronic health problems are usually hit hardest by the flu. Influenza contributes to anywhere from 4,000 to 50,000 deaths each year in the United States. Health officials typically don't get an accurate view of a particular flu season until it is over, but so far this year, influenza A viruses—specifically H3N2, which often makes people sicker than other strains of the virus—is the most common.
It isn't too late to get a flu vaccine—the shot takes effect in about two weeks and flu season usually peaks in January/February. Symptoms of the flu include fever and chills, muscle aches, cough, sore throat, headaches, fatigue, and others. Children who develop difficulty breathing, rapid breathing, bluish skin, or lethargy, and adults who develop shortness of breath, pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen, dizziness/confusion, severe vomiting should receive medical attention. A relapse after recovering from the flu requires prompt treatment.
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