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

Ebony Scott
January 14, 2019

Between Oct. 1, 2018 and January 5, 2019, about 6 million to 7 million people were reported to have contracted the flu, according to data collected by the health agency.

There has been an increase in flu cases in 30 states, Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Utah, Vermont, Virginia and Wyoming.

About 6 million to 7 million Americans have become ill since flu season kicked off in the fall. Agency officials are providing the estimates for the first time during flu season as a way to underscore the risks of serious complications of the respiratory virus and to encourage people to get vaccinated.

While states such as California and North Carolina have seen significant numbers of flu-related deaths this season, US health officials said Friday that the nationwide impact of influenza seems to be milder than last winter.

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A 3-year-old girl died of the flu in suburban Chicago on December 22, marking the state's first pediatric flu death of the season.

By comparison, there were 195 pediatric hospitalizations over the same period last season. This year - in Saskatchewan at least - he said children with flu symptoms should see a health professional right away.

There is still time to get a flu shot for the season.

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. People who are very sick or who are at high risk of serious flu complications and get flu symptoms should see a health care provider early in their illness for possible treatment with a flu antiviral drug.

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