Flu season at its worst since 2013

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Influenza (also known as the flu) activity is now widespread in most of the US, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Children's Healthcare of Atlanta said there has been an increase in flu cases in children this season. In the last week, hospitalizations of children under five have nearly doubled and there were seven more pediatric deaths, bringing the season total to 20.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday released its latest flu report, and MS is one of 22 states with an increase in the number of reported flu cases.

If you haven't already, get the flu shot!

Most flu shots cover four flu viruses - two influenza A viruses (H3N2 and H1N1) - and two B viruses.

St. Peter's says that they need to take these precautions since they have patients that could die from influenza such as newborns, hospice care patients and cancer patients who may have weakened immune systems.

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Athens-Limestone Hospital has issued an advisory asking people not to visit the hospital if they are experiencing any flu-like symptoms. Midpoint in flu season typically means about 3 more months until activity dies down to regular levels.

Since 2010, the CDC estimates there have been between 9.2 and 60.8 million flu cases each year.

The MDH has a link that will provide the nearest locations for flu vaccines in South Mississippi.

"The problem with flu is you become infectious, that means you become contagious, you can give it to somebody else 24 hours before you know that you even have it". "What we're seeing this year, the influenza season started earlier and seems to be peaking right about now". And stay home from work if you are sick to keep from spreading germs to coworkers. Routine cleaning and disinfection in the home and workplace are also important to reduce flu risks.

"The difference between the two [types] is that Influenza A - particularly H3N2 - which has been predominating in recent years, tends to affect older people".

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