US flu death toll hits 22K, hospitalization rates high for children, young adults

Flu activity will remain high through March

What should you do if you get the flu?

ATLANTA (Gray News) – Flu activity in the United States remains high, but is down for the fourth week in a row, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Friday.

The CDC estimates that so far this season there have been at least 22,000 deaths, 36 million flu illnesses, 370,000 hospitalizations.

The 2019-2020 influenza outbreak is moderate to low in overall severity, but hospitalization rates are high among children and young adults.

“Rates for children 0-4 years and adults 18-49 years are now the highest CDC has on record for these age groups, surpassing rates reported during the 2009 H1N1 pandemic,” the agency said.

A total of 144 influenza-associated deaths in children have been reported this season. That’s an increase of 8 since last week’s report.

The CDC projects flu activity to remain elevated throughout this month.

Flu activity was high in Puerto Rico and 41 states. It was moderate in Ohio and New Hampshire. It was low in the District of Columbia, Alaska, Delaware, Idaho and Nevada.

Only minimal amounts of flu were reported in Arizona, Florida and Wyoming.

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

Different flu shots are approved for people of different ages. Everyone should get a vaccine that is appropriate for their age, according to the CDC.

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

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