Since Thanksgiving, there has been an up-tick in flu across the country.
The latest government flu reports finds there has never been this much flu this early in the season.
“It was enough for influenza-like illness that it did, on a national level, put us above baseline for the first time,” the CDC’s Lynnette Brammer tells WSB.
Flu is now widespread in four states, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
The report showed that Georgia, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Massachusetts already have widespread flu activity.
“It looks like it may be a little bit ahead of where we normally are this time of year, and what that means – we’re not entirely sure,” Brammer explains. “Flu is notoriously unpredictable.”
There are a number of different types of flu viruses, and they do not all hit equally as hard. The type that is responsible for most of the illness, at least at the moment, is called H3N2.
H3 flu seasons are typically more severe; these viruses are especially hard on older adults, who often have other health ailments that make them vulnerable to severe illness when they contract the flu.
Despite what critics have said about this year’s flu vaccine, Brammer insists it is still too early to accurately measure its effectiveness, adding, “It is still our best tool to protect against influenza.”