Chilly weather could be contributing to the state's 'widespread' flu epidemic

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But there are hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations and tens of thousands of deaths due to the flu in any given year, according to the CDC.

People under doctors care for chronic medical conditions and children aged under three should get a prescription for flu immunisation from their private physician. DHS officials say the season usually hits later in Jan, Feb and March.

The flu season typically lasts from October through May, but officials say there's been an increase in cases earlier than normal and the uptick is expected to continue for several months.

One of the most convenient options employers have in preventing the flu is on-site clinics. It is especially important to get the shot and protect people around you who have a greater risk of experiencing serious flu-related complications. "For this reason, it's very important that we closely monitor the evolution of the H3N2 flu viruses throughout the 2018 U.S. flu season".

The number of influenza cases and related fatalities skyrocketed in the San Diego region last week, pushing the "flu season" totals to levels far ahead of the same time previous year, county health officials reported Wednesday. It takes about two weeks for the body to create the antibodies for the virus, so those getting the vaccine should plan to do so as early as possible. People can find a place to get vaccinated at vaccinefinder.org.

Health officials are anxious, with so many people traveling for Christmas and New Year's, cases of the flu will skyrocket.

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Four states experienced high flu activity (Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Texas), while five states (Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, and Kentucky) experienced moderate activity. The shot also does not boost your immune system; if your immune system was already weakened before you were administered the shot, you may still be infected by the virus.

- clean and disinfect surfaces that may be contaminated.

Seniors, those aged over 65, get the shots free.

Dr. Holder also said it is not too late to get a flu shot.

The 12 states with widespread activity are Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

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