Schuchat noted that this season, "We are on track to break recent records". By comparison, the 2009 H1N1 swine flu outbreak peaked around January 1, just short of 6 percent. Though "there is a peak in the winter, the flu doesn't ever go away". Acting CDC Director, Dr. Anne Schuchat, said in a tweet Friday, "We can't predict how much longer this season will last".
The latest FluView data found that flu-related deaths rose to 10.1% - far above the epidemic threshold figure of 7.3%.
Todd said the flu season has peaked in Washoe County and the number of cases are starting to decline. Flu seasons dominated by H3N2 tend to be more severe and result in more hospitalizations. One possibility is that the vaccine is doing an unusually poor job; USA data on effectiveness is expected next week.
Baber said the decrease in flu cases has been in Type A influenza while Type B influenza has been increasing. Some patients are saying that, too.
"It's usually a high fever that comes on very quickly".
It was unclear whether the outbreak had reached its peak yet or if it would get worse, she said. "It was like 'Wham!' It was bad".
Baez was diagnosed with the flu and was being treated for the virus, police said.
For that reason - and because as many as nine weeks of flu season remain - CDC officials are still recommending that unvaccinated individuals get the flu shot. "Not for four days", said Jossi.
Schuchat said people should still get the flu shot and noted that strains better controlled by vaccines are becoming more common as the season progresses - and can even infect people who have already had the flu. "Along with the rest of the country, SC is dealing with widespread flu activity", said State Epidemiologist Dr. Linda Bell.
"However we do understand that there may be some gaps in shipment, thus some reduction in local availability to all pharmacies", Dr. Karen Landers said. A quarter of the hospital's emergency department visits are patients with flu, and the hospital has added nursing staff and placed beds in halls to accommodate the increase, he said.
"Just because it's going down right now, doesn't mean it can't go back up again".
This flu season is now almost as bad as the 2009 swine flu pandemic, causing mounting hospitalizations and deaths, according to a shocking government report released yesterday. The CDC counts flu deaths in children and there have been 63 so far. They have gone as high as about 170 in a season.
While the CDC does not have numbers yet on how effective this year's flu vaccine is, researchers in Canada - where similar strains of the virus have been spreading - estimate it is less than 20 percent effective against the H3N2 strain.
In response to widespread illness, the Chattanooga- Hamilton County Health Department announced it will offer free influenza vaccinations - a $35 value - starting Monday in all of its clinics.
Two other children have also died from the flu this season, including an 8-year-old girl from Queens.
Hospitalizations for flu increased to an overall rate of 59.9 per 100,000 population, a jump from the previous week's rate of 51.4 per 100,000 population. Additionally, the first death for a child between newborn to 4-years-old was reported. They say 48 states and Puerto Rico have been impacted.