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article imageNew CDC report shows more U.S. flu activity

By Tim Sandle     Feb 18, 2014 in Health
Every season, flu causes on average 200,000 Americans to go to the hospital and kills thousands to tens of thousands of people, according to the U.S. CDC. This is the startling headline in a new report about flu.
Influenza (flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness. Serious outcomes of flu infection can result in hospitalization or death. People with flu can spread it to others up to about 6 feet away. Most experts think that flu viruses are spread mainly by droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued three facts about flu which are relevant to the current flu season. These are:
1. Flu activity has picked up across the U.S.
Flu activity has increased nationwide, with the south-central and southeastern United States being the first to get hit hard this year. There are now 41 states reporting widespread flu.
2. Young people and middle age adults are at risk, especially if they have at least one risk factor for serious illness.
While it remains that those at biggest risk are adults 65 and older. This included pregnant women and people who were morbidly obese. The most common circulating flu virus so far this season is H1N1, the same virus that emerged in 2009 to cause a pandemic.
3. CDC continues to monitor flu activity and make recommendations to the public.
Flu is unpredictable, so CDC closely watches flu activity every year. CDC, the World Health Organization, FDA, and many other international partners conduct global flu surveillance 24/7.
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