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Report says flu has spread across United States

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A report from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says the geographic spread of influenza in 40 states is widespread.

During January 22-28, 2017, influenza activity increased in the United States. The most frequently identified influenza virus subtype reported by public health laboratories during this time frame was influenza A (H3). The percentage of respiratory specimens testing positive for influenza in clinical laboratories increased. Seven influenza-associated pediatric deaths were reported.

11 states, including Iowa, Illinois, North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota experienced moderate to widespread influenza-like illness (ILI) activity.

According to the CDC, influenza is a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death. Every flu season is different, and influenza infection can affect people differently, but millions of people get the flu every year, hundreds of thousands of people are hospitalized and thousands or tens of thousands of people die from flu-related causes every year. Even healthy people can get very sick from the flu and spread it to others. CDC estimates that flu-related hospitalizations since 2010 ranged from 140,000 to 710,000, while flu-related deaths are estimated to have ranged from 12,000 to 56,000. During flu season, flu viruses circulate at higher levels in the U.S. population. (“Flu season” in the United States can begin as early as October and last as late as May.) An annual seasonal flu vaccine is the best way to reduce your risk of getting sick with seasonal flu and spreading it to others. When more people get vaccinated against the flu, less flu can spread through that community.

Health professionals recommend a flu shot every year to guard against getting sick.

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