CDC: More than six million people have had flu this season

Flu taking toll in California, other states, but having milder impact nationwide, data show

Notably, in the comparable report a year ago the CDC described influenza activity as "increased", which was not a word used in the weekly FluView tracking data for the week ending January 5 this year.

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.

At this point last flu season, a total of 11,275 cases of lab-confirmed flu had been reported.

The flu bug has officially spread across the state of Iowa. Flu season typically lasts through the middle of the spring.

Death estimates for adults who contracted the flu are not yet available, but as of late December, the CDC said that about 6% of deaths nationwide were due to influenza or pneumonia.

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One death was associated with an influenza A (H3) virus, one death was associated with an influenza A (H1N1) pdm09 virus and one death was associated with an influenza A virus for which no subtyping was performed. Calculations are based on adjusted rates of laboratory-confirmed, influenza-associated hospitalizations collected through a surveillance network that covers approximately 8.5% of the USA population, or about 27 million people. As many as 83,500 people with the flu had been hospitalized by that date.

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.

Quick treatment can save lives, the CDC said.

"Most people who get sick with flu will have mild illness and will recover in less than two weeks without medical care".

Experts say it's not too late to reap the benefits of a flu vaccine. "These new in-season estimates fill out the picture of the burden of flu in the United States", the CDC said in a statement.

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