This year's flu outbreak has spread to nearly all corners of North America.
If you've been suffering from a runny nose, dry throat, cough or other flu-like symptoms so far this winter, you're not alone. This year's flu season has been the worst experts have seen in several years and, according to a new report published by Fortune, things could actually get worse before they get better.
A report from the CDC last week stated that influenza activity increased between New Year's Eve and January 6th, with the trend pointing in an upwards direction in terms of how many people it is affecting. "Flu is everywhere in the US right now," Dr. Dan Jernigan, director of the CDC's influenza branch, told CNN. "This is the first year we've had the entire continental US at the same level (of flu activity) at the same time." It has been an early flu season that seems to be peaking now, he said, with a 5.8% increase in laboratory-confirmed cases this week over last.
There is speculation that the outlook shouldn't be all doom and gloom, with some pundits believing that the flu season's severity may have peaked more than a week ago. However, with outpatient numbers hitting record highs so far in January, the numbers say there's no real end in sight. “In general, we see things peaking right about now, but that means there is still a whole lot more flu to go,” Jernigan said. “In addition, there are other strains of influenza still to show up that could be a major cause of disease.”
The casualties of the flu have grown as well this year, with a rising death toll in states like California pushing some people to take extra precautions against the already-airborne strains of the flu.