The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says flu activity is rising across the U.S.
California, Arizona, New Mexico, Nebraska, North Carolina, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Florida, Delaware, and Georgia are all experiencing widespread flu activity, according to the CDC Weekly U.S. Influenza Surveillance Report for the week of December 22.
The report shows that nine states have experienced high flu activity compared to the previous week. These states include Alabama, Colorado, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, New Jersey, New Mexico, South Carolina and New York City.
More southern border states have increased activity. Seven states, including Arizona, have had moderate activity, the CDC stated.
October had been the official start of the flu season with Influenza A viruses making their way across the U.S.; however, influenza B viruses have also been circulating. There have been 11 total flu-related deaths among children during the 2018-2019 season, according to the CDC. The 2017-2018 season was the deadliest in decades with more than 80,000 deaths.
According to the CDC, the symptoms can include fever and/or chills, cough, runny and/or stuffed nose, headaches, and fatigue. Some can even experience diarrhea and vomiting. Flu symptoms present themselves in groups of two or more. Many recover in a few days or weeks.
Higher risk people can experience flu complications, such as pneumonia, which can result in hospitalization or even death, says the CDC. This includes people 65 years and older, any age with certain chronic medical conditions, pregnant women, and children under 5.
Hand-washing, avoiding close contact, and good health habits can prevent the flu, but the CDC urges that the single best way to prevent the flu is to get vaccinated every year.