MN Department of Health asking for your help to track the flu

Here's How Many People Have Caught the Flu So Far This Season (Hint: It's a Lot)

It's early, but the current flu season is shaping up to be gentler than last winter's unusually brutal one, USA health officials said.

If the current strain continues to be the predominant virus, it is what the head of the epidemiology and prevention branch of CDC's flu division expects.

These new in-season estimates fill out the picture of the burden of flu in the United States. During last year's season, two children and as many as 145 adults died of flu-associated illness in Alabama, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health.

Doctors maintain the most important thing we can do to protect ourselves against the flu is to get an annual flu shot.

We're in the midst of flu season, and millions of people have caught the virus already. The agency estimates that between 6.2 and 7.3 million people had been sick with the flu as of January 5, and about half of them had seen a doctor because of it.

For a universal flu vaccine to work, it has to target certain parts of the virus that don't change much from season to season, and that's no easy task.

"It's never too late for the vaccine as long as flu is circulating - and we're just headed into peak season, not only in Montana but around the country too".

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Roughly 70,000 to 80,000 have been hospitalized.

So far this season, Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia have each recorded one death in which the patient had a lab-confirmed case of the flu.

Because the model is new, CDC researchers said they aren't able to compare those estimates to previous flu seasons.

Instead of relying on people to get vaccinated every year, scientists are getting closer to a flu vaccine that would last through multiple seasons, called a universal flu vaccine.

Gudmundson said the severity of flu in any given year is influenced by several factors, including vaccination rates, people employing proper hand-washing, staying home when sick and the type of flu strains themselves.

So, is the U.S.in for a milder flu season?

The CDC recommends that people get a flu vaccine by the end of October, though there is still time to get vaccinated.

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