The flu is now officially an epidemic, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). More than half of all US states reported high flu activity within the first week of the year.

A total of 7.0 percent of the deaths occurring during the week ending December 23 2017 were due to pneumonia and influenza, based on National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) mortality surveillance data available on January 11 2018. This percentage is at the epidemic threshold of 7.0 percent for week 51, said CDC. A total of 20 influenza-associated deaths have been recorded for the 2017/2018 flu season so far.

 

Most of the US right now … A CDC spokesperson said: ‘Seven influenza-associated pediatric deaths were reported to CDC during week one. One death was associated with an influenza A(H3) virus and occurred during week one (the week ending January 6 2018). ‘One death was associated with an influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 virus and occurred during week one.

Two deaths were associated with an influenza A virus for which no subtyping was performed and occurred during week one.

‘Three deaths were associated with an influenza B virus and occurred during weeks 50 and 51 (the weeks ending December 16 and December 23 2017 respectively).’ Anyone can get the flu (even healthy people), and serious problems related to the flu can happen at any age, but some people are at high risk of developing serious flu-related complications if they get sick, according to the CDC. This includes people 65 years and older, people of any age with certain chronic medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease), pregnant women, and young children.

Flu symptoms

Fever or feeling feverish/chills

Cough

Sore throat Runny or stuffy nose

Muscle or body aches

Headaches Fatigue (tiredness)

Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.

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