Only nine states report "low influenza-like illness". That, along with other factors, makes for more infections and more severe illnesses.
MS is one of 22 states with a high flu rate in the current flu season.
How Do Flu Epidemics Come Into Play?
"If it's like other years, there are still 11 to 13 more weeks of influenza to go", Jernigan said, adding that various strains of the flu tend to show up later in the season.
If symptoms worsen, seek help from medical professionals. Statistics from the relatively active 2014-2015 season are strikingly similar to this season's statistics.
The health team reports there are 89 lab-confirmed cases of influenza but suggests this number could be greater since many sufferers don't seek medical care.
Moderate "influenza-like illness" is present in six states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. If you think you have the flu, call or visit your doctor.
The "H3" strain of the flu is much more serious, especially for the elderly and children.
A severe flu outbreak is filling Alabama hospitals and emergency rooms, prompting the governor to declare a state of emergency. From Nov. 27 to January 21 previous year, there were 54 confirmed cases of influenza A.
"We've got to get away from cultivating vaccine in eggs and expand the use of tissue cultures, but only one manufacturer has made that investment right now", he said.
Patients with complicated cases of influenza can develop secondary bacterial infections that cause pneumonia, Fries said. This year, the H3N2 strain is spreading fast, and appears to be more widespread and potent than last year.
This season's vaccine does contain protection against the H3N2 strain of flu, one of the main types which have been circulating in Australia.
Jernigan said it looks more [as though] the H3N2 portion of the vaccine is performing here [as] it did a year ago, when it was 34 percent effective at preventing infection.
But that is more due to a delay in confirmation of flu-related deaths.
Puerto Rico's Hurricane Maria aftermath is contributing to flu season deaths as well.
All economic effects considered, various influenza viruses cost the United States, in aggregate, roughly $10.4 billion each year.
Harris said hospitals in almost half of Alabama counties are at 90 percent of their patient capacity.
Bad flu season in U.S.. Somewhere between 140,000 and 710,000 of them require hospitalization, and 12,000 to 56,000 die each year. If you have the flu, or even a cold this time of year, doctors say it's important to stay home, stay hydrated - and if you need to, take something Tylenol for a fever.
Though the CDC had held a similar event in 2010, the timing of this one seemed designed as a response to the heated rhetoric between President Trump and North Korea over the past year.
The "Aussie flu" is also raging, as is a swine flu to a lesser degree.
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