Flu Season Has Its Earliest Start In Over 15 Years, Says The CDC
The flu season has arrived, and this year looks like it's gonna be a rough one. While we've all started to notice the occasional sniffling co-worker or sneezy friend, the flu viruses have begun spreading much earlier this season, leading experts to call it an "alarmingly fast start."
Flu season typically peaks around February each winter, but it appears that this holiday season may coincide with the fever pitch of this year's virus. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there have already been 1.7 million flu illnesses across the country.
Toni Gross, M.D., chief of emergency medicine at the Children's Hospital of New Orleans, reported that this October was the emergency department's busiest month of all time while also confirming more flu cases this fall than compared to the entirety of last winter.
You may be asking, are there any positives to this early start? Maybe the end of the flu season will be earlier than predicted, too? Experts say it's possible, but because of the timing, many Americans will be sick around the same time, which could lead to a more heightened spread overall. However, it's still too early to make any broad assumptions.
Flu forecaster Dave Osthus told AP News, "This could be a precursor to something pretty bad, but we don't know yet."
The flu has some pretty tough side effects and can lead to death, but treatment is available for those who need it. Gross says, "It is definitely causing symptoms that will put you in bed for a week," but she has yet to see any serious complications in her cases. Because sickness is already more common during the winter, it's important to stay healthy in any way we can and look out for the health of your loved ones as well.
To help lower your odds of catching the bug this holiday season, check out these tips from an immunologist.
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