"Getting vaccinated protects you as well as the people around you, including those who are more vulnerable, like babies and young children, elderly people and people with chronic health conditions".
Following a slow start to the flu season, the USA has seen 3 weeks of influenza-like illness activity levels at above the national baseline of 2.2%, flu activity reported as regional or widespread in 24 states and Guam, and an increase in respiratory specimens testing positive for flu at clinical laboratories across the country.
The Centers Disease Control and Prevention has a recent map that shows the flu has increased in several states over the past two months including Florida. That's up from a week earlier when only six states, including NY, had seen widespread activity.
Flu season typically runs from October through May.
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Flu cases are already on the rise, according to the CDC.
Officials say the number of people hospitalized with laboratory-confirmed flu was 363 this past week, a 41 percent increase over the previous week.
The 2017-2018 flu season was the most deadly flu season in decades, with over 80,000 deaths, 185 of which were pediatric deaths. Signs and symptoms of the flu include high fever, muscle aches, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Many people people become ill suddenly and recover within a few weeks with rest. As long as flu is circulating in the area where you live, it is not too late to get vaccinated.
"Generally, the highest hospitalization rates are for people over 65 and this year so far, the highest hospitalization rates are for children under 5", Dr. Kerry Fierstein, the CEO of Allied Physicians Group, said. As such, authorities are urging members of the public to get the flu vaccine as the first step in preventing the flu, and possible serious complications from it.