For the first time in 13 years, every state in the continental U.S. has been hit with the widespread flu, according to Fox32 Chicago.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention held a news conference Friday to alert the nation on the worsening outbreak. The CDC said it isn’t sure how severe the flu season will end up being, but deaths continue to come. There has been a jump in hospitalizations in young children and those over 50.
The current flu vaccine has little effect on the flu strain going around that leads to severe symptoms, Fox32 reported. Even so, the CDC still recommends getting the flu shot, as there may still be three more months in the flu season.
Federal health officials cite the bad winter weather and the severe strain for the high number of hospitalizations, Fox32 reported. Symptoms for this H3N2 strain include extreme fatigue, body aches and a respiratory infection that can last days.
CDC recommends going to the doctor as soon as you start feeling under the weather. Antiviral medicines can lessen the impact and duration of the flu, but the medicine needs to be taken within two days of getting sick.
CDC recommendations for avoiding the flu
- Avoid close contact with sick people
- Limit contact with others if you’re sick
- Stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone if you have flu-like symptoms
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze
- Wash your hands often with soap and water
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
- Clean surfaces and objects that may have flu germs