Flu at epidemic level in U.S.
Public health officials say that we could be heading into a severe flu season, with 15 deaths of children already reported in the U.S.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the H3N2 strain of the virus began mutating after scientists had created this year's vaccine--making it less effective than expected. But doctors say it's still important to get a flu shot because even at a lower level of effectiveness, it can reduce the impact of the virus.
Cases have already been reported in 36 states this season, which is expected intensify in the coming weeks and last into April.
Symptoms of the virus include fever, chills, runny nose, sore throat, headaches and fatigue. Young children and the elderly are considered to be at highest risk.
The CDC recommends flu vaccine for most people over the age of six months.