CDC: Up to 84000 Americans hospitalized with flu in past three months

Flu taking toll in California, other states, but having milder impact nationwide, data show

In the past, CDC provided these estimates at the end of each flu season.

As many as 7.3 million people have already gotten the flu this season, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) first real-time flu severity estimates.

The latest report from the CDC finds widespread flu activity in 30 states.

The CDC last month signalled https://www.cdc.gov/flu/spotlights/flu-activity-elevated.htm the start of the flu season, saying that 24 states and Guam were reporting widespread cases, with the H1N1 virus being the predominant strain.

According to the CDC, the flu infects the respiratory tract.

As the flu season is just beginning to peak, numbers of people showing symptoms or are considered with the sickness skyrocket. "But it does not look anywhere as severe as a year ago, " she said.

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As many as 83,500 people have been hospitalized because of flu, federal health officials say.

"People get lulled into the idea that [influenza] is not as serious as it can be, especially for those most vulnerable", Dr. Russell said. "Some people, such as older adults, young children, pregnant women, nursing home residents, and people with asthma, lung disease, heart disease, diabetes, or obesity, are more likely to develop flu-related complications".

The flu sent at least 13 people to the hospital in the last week. Fewer than half of Americans ever do.

"We know the vaccine reduces outpatient visits, hospitalizations, ICU admissions and can be lifesaving in children", Fry said.

The CDC said that reported cases tend to increase in November before peaking between December and February. People who are very sick or who are at high risk of serious flu complications and get flu symptoms should see a health care provider early in their illness for possible treatment with a flu antiviral drug.

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