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Flu up everywhere, CDC says, time for a shot

Auburn Reporter - 12/20/2019

The 2019-2020 season is underway, and in Washington state as in all regions of the country, levels of flu-like illness are up, according to data gathered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Influenza B/Victoria virus is causing most of the problems, which the CDC says is not normal for this time of year. The next most common viruses are the A/H1N1 strains, and these are growing in proportion relative to other influenza viruses in some regions.

CDC estimates that so far this season there have been at least 2.6 million flu illnesses, 23,000 hospitalizations and 1,300 deaths from flu.

That being said, it's not too late to get vaccinated. Flu vaccination is always the best way to prevent flu and its potentially serious complications.

Antiviral medications are an important adjunct to flu vaccine in the control of influenza. Almost all (>99 percent) of the influenza viruses tested this season are susceptible to the 4 FDA-approved influenza antiviral medications recommended for use in the U.S. this season, according to the CDC.

In the first week of December, according to the CDC, people with an influenza-like illness constituted 3.2 percent of doctor visits across the country. The national baseline – which taps data from the previous three seasons – is 2.4 percent.