The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is reporting an earlier-than-usual flu season and a more severe influenza.
Last week, 29 states reported high levels of flu activity, up from 16 the week before. The flu was widespread in 41 states. The CDC reported that as of Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012, more than 2,250 people had been hospitalized and 18 children had died from complications.
Children appear to be extremely vulnerable to this year’s influenza. The flu season is running about five weeks ahead of the average. It’s not too late to get your flu shot, even though it takes up to two weeks to provide immunity. It is important to get it as soon as possible.
This year’s flu shot is proving to be about 75 percent effective at this point. Southern Ute Health Center patients can get their flu shots on a walk-in basis.