Flu in US Now Widespread but Season May Be Peaking: CDC

A woman sneezes into a tissue at her desk in this undated file

Iowa health officials have reported eight more influenza-related deaths, bringing the state total to 14 since October 1st.

In Minnesota the flu season is nearing its peak with over 1700 flu-related hospitalizations, 55 outbreaks at nursing homes and 43 schools in the last week. There were 128 positive flu tests during the same period in 2016, health officials said. "Although this is definitely an increase across the country". From Dec. 31 to January 6, ARC tested more than 500 patients with flu-like symptoms.

Jones says she has seen more flu cases this year than last. "We are keeping them safe however with the immunizations, we may have children coming in with other illnesses that we can't say is the flu or not the flu".

According to the Alabama Department of Public Health, significant influenza activity has been reported in 55 of the state's 67 counties, including Madison, Morgan, Limestone, Jackson and Marshall counties.

"There are now no vaccine shortages in Ohio", Summit County Public Health said in a news release on Friday.

"People with influenza or other chronic illnesses such as heart disease or asthma means that it can take more time for people to be seen by a doctor".

"Every year, there are still a number of people that die from flu, and they can be healthy individuals", said Dr. Quan. "Hospitals across the state are continuously monitoring the situation and working together to make sure all of their patients are receiving the care they need and the hospitals have the supplies they need to get through this". Get an annual flu shot, cover coughs and sneezes with the crook of the arm, wash hands with warm soap and water, and stay home if sick. The Department of Health says that's the best way to prevent it.

Though Chen says this year's flu shot is weaker than in years past, but says that shouldn't mean a person doesn't get it.

Los Angeles County health officials this week reported 36 deaths this flu season, compared to 13 people for the same time past year. If you start on anti-viral medications within a day or two of when your symptoms start, your risk of serious disease, hospitalization and even death can be significantly reduced.

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