The United States is currently in the midst of one of the severest flu seasons in years according to the Center for Disease Control. “Much of the country is experiencing a widespread and intense flu activity,” Director Brenda Fitzgerald said on Friday.
According to the CDC, there were 22.7 hospitalizations per 100,000 people this week, up from 13 per 100,000 last week. Twenty people have died in the U.S. this season, and flu cases have spread to 46 states. Fitzgerald said the season is at its peak right now and will probably take several more weeks before the number of new cases begins to subside.
Fitzgerald encouraged people who haven’t yet gotten flu shots to do so as there is still time. She said, “while our flu vaccines are far from perfect, they are the best way to prevent getting the flu.”
This season is worse than the 2012-2013 season but not as bad as the 2014-2015 season. That season had a hospitalization rate of 29.9 people per 100,000. A flu shot with a low effectiveness rate was partially responsible for the severity of that season.