America’s deadly flu outbreak declines, but may not have peaked, CDC says

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ATLANTA (Gray News) – Levels of flu across the country stayed high in the latest report, but declined slightly overall, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported.

The CDC estimates that so far this season there have been at least 13 million flu illnesses, 120,000 hospitalizations and 6,600 deaths from flu. (Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

“It is too early to know whether the season has peaked or if flu activity will increase again,” the CDC website said.

The CDC estimates that so far this season there have been at least 13 million flu illnesses, 120,000 hospitalizations and 6,600 deaths from flu.

A total of 39 children have died so far this season. Seven more died since last week.

Flu was widespread in Puerto Rico and 48 states: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

Flu shots are recommended for everyone 6 months of age and older.

The CDC says the flu vaccination has important benefits.

"It can reduce flu illnesses, doctors’ visits, and missed work and school due to flu, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations," the CDC says. "Flu vaccine also has been shown to be life-saving in children. In fact, a 2017 study showed that flu vaccination can significantly reduce a child’s risk of dying from flu."

It takes about two weeks after you get your vaccination for antibodies to develop and provide protection against the flu.

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