Flu Season, What to Know this Year


​"Before influenza starts to circulate around the U.S., now's a good time to get vaccinated and really start thinking about flu and get prepared for the upcoming season," said Epperson, lead author of the flu update published Oct. 11 in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

The flu is a contagious disease, and it can cause mild to severe symptoms along with life-threatening complications, even in young, healthy children and adults. People 65 and over, followed by those 50-64, and then children from newborn to 4 years old are those most likely to be hospitalized this season. It can be deadly, too. Since 2010, the flu has killed from 12,000 to 79,000 people annually in the U.S. and affected about 9.3 million to 49 million annually.

What is the latest news on the flu season?
The CDC reported low activity in its most recent report.

When does flu season begin and end?
Although you can get the flu anytime, flu season starts in October and can go as late as March and even April. But it usually peaks in the U.S. in February, Schaffner says.

When is the best time to get a flu shot?
In general, everyone over 6 months of age should get vaccinated -- the earlier the better for getting the vaccine. Late September is a good time, Schaffner says, and even into October and beyond. With the length of last year’s flu season, the idea of booster shots has been discussed. Schaffner says that idea is not backed by studies.
To Learn more, go to: WebMD or CDC.

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