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Flu virus still in its peak for season, older adults most susceptible

26 states are experiencing high flu activity
Posted: 2:36 PM, Feb 18, 2019
Updated: 2019-02-18 20:39:27Z

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says influenza is still peaking this season: 4.8 percent of outpatient visits across the U.S. were due to flu-like illness. At least 26 states are experiencing high flu activity.

Despite a milder season this year, the CDC says flu activity this past week was the highest it has been all season. The highest hospitalization rate of people with influenza is among adults 65 years and older, the CDC says .

Six child deaths connected to the flu were reported to the CDC during the week ending Feb. 9, its report says (the last data available) .

The report also says:

  • Widespread influenza activity was reported by Puerto Rico and 48 states (Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming).
  • Regional influenza activity was reported by one state (West Virginia).
  • Local influenza activity was reported by the District of Columbia and one state (Hawaii).
  • Sporadic influenza activity was reported by the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Molly Kincaid has been a pharmacist at a Kroger in Green Hills, Tennessee for nearly three years now; Tennessee is a state seeing an increase in flu reports. Kincaid says see's been seeing many people suffering from the flu over the last week.

"We know it's coming and it's important to do everything we can to ensure we are healthy, not only for us but for our families so that we don't get the flu and potentially expose other people who aren't as healthy," she said.

If you haven't gotten your flu shot yet, it's not too late. The CDC says this year's flu vaccine appears to be working. The vaccine has reduced the risk of going to the doctor for flu-related illness by 47 percent this season.

Other than getting the flu shot, Kincaid says make sure you're practicing good hygiene.

Flu season usually will last through March.