For anyone that has ever had the flu, the symptoms are clear: You feel like a truck has hit you, entirely too sick to move. Well, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is warning that the severe outbreak of the flu, affecting 41 states and responsible for the deaths of 18 children so far, is only going to get worse as we head into peak flu season.
Experts say the alarmingly early outbreak is the worst seen in ten years, and the CDC is telling people it isn’t too late to get the flu vaccine.
Across the country, hospitals are inundated with flu patients, and multiple sources are reporting some hospitals are having to turn away patients, while one hospital outside Philadelphia has set up portable tents for flu triage.
The strain responsible for this season’s flu outbreak is reported to be Influenza A (H3N2), which is covered in the current flu vaccine. Dr. Joe Bresee from the CDC said, “typically ‘H3N2 seasons’ have been more severe, with higher numbers of hospitalizations and deaths, but we will have to see how the season plays out.” He added that, “While influenza vaccination offers the best protection we have against influenza…health care providers and the public should remember that influenza antiviral medications are a second line of defense against influenza.”