The Flu Is Widespread in the U.S., and It’s Not Too Late to Get Vaccinated


The flu season is going strong.

About six million to seven million people in the United States have come down with the illness so far, with half of them sick enough to have seen doctors, according to estimates released on Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Some 69,000 to 84,000 ended up in the hospital during the period from Oct. 1, 2018 through Jan. 5.

“Flu activity is widespread in many states,” Dr. Alicia Fry, from the C.D.C.’s influenza division, said in an interview. “We expect several more weeks of flu season.”

The C.D.C. is not affected by the government shutdown.

The last flu season, from 2017 to 2018, was particularly deadly, with the most cases reported since 2009, and the illness considered severe across all age groups. Nearly 80,000 people died in the United States.

The number of deaths from flu this season has not yet been determined. But Dr. Fry said the flu was widespread in 30 states, especially in the Southeast, and is moving northward. Levels are also high in New York City and New Jersey.

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