Flu activity continues to increase

Doctors: Flu season only beginning in Michigan

CDC: Widespread flu activity reported in Georgia

Flu season has officially started in the United States, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) most recent FluView report for the week ending December 15, 2018 (Week 50).

Local physicians in Bowling Green say it is still not even close to the amount of flu cases seen a year ago in the area, but the numbers are rising.

As of this point of time, only a couple of states in the country are in the red, which include Colorado along with Georgia.

More southern border states have increased activity.

Some other areas as well, including New Jersey, are observing some moderate levels of the flu activity, and it is expected to get worse over time, thus calling for some preventative measures.

However, in 75 percent of recent influenza seasons, the peak flu activity had not occurred until January or later, regardless of where you live, says the CDC.

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The state confirmed Michigan's first flu-related death last week.

Additionally, the CDC reported 4 influenza-associated pediatric deaths during week 51, which increases the 2018-2019 flu season total to 11 fatalities.

People with the flu often experience fever, chills, coughing, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches and fatigue, according to the CDC.

Last year, CDC estimated that roughly 79,000 people with flu-like symptoms died, the highest since 2009, of which 185 were children under 18. "Flu vaccination is the most effective protection against flu, and it's still not too late to get a flu shot". Also at high risk are adults 65 and older, pregnant women, residents of long-term care facilities and people with medical conditions including weakened immune systems, asthma, heart disease and diabetes.

Temperatures during the New Year holiday and the rest of the coming week will be relatively low, and Chuang suggested that people who participate in New Year's Eve festivities or events take measures to protect against the flu, such as wearing a mask and washing their hands frequently.

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