(NEW YORK) -- Flu cases are rising across the United States and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say it's not too late to get vaccinated, Health Day reports.
The influenza season this year has gotten off to an early start and officials fear a severe season. A spokesperson with the CDC said that, although flu season usually peaks in late January or early February, the flu was already severe and widespread in parts of the South and Southeast by November. Activity has increased further north in the Mid-Atlantic states, includig Virginia, Illinois and Rhode Island. CDC statistics showed a total of 41 states reporting widespread flu activity through Dec. 29, Health Day says.
The spokesperson said this year's predominant strain is H3N2, which tends to be more severe in young children and the elderly. According to the CDC, an estimated 36,000 people die from the flu and related complications in a typical flu season. So far this season, there have been 18 flu-related deaths of children, Health Day reports.
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