Winter Flu Season in the United States has made an early check-in due to an unexpected virus. This has happened for the first time in 15 years of history. Southern states have been majorly hit by the flu B virus, which is dominating in the region. Flu B virus might affect most of the United States including Florida. As per the health officials, the flu outbreak can occur much earlier than normal this time. Dr. William Schaffner from Vanderbilt University Medical Center has said that Influenza B is generally active towards the end of the season but this time it has started to affect people quite early. Usually, flu B virus target children, which is a matter of concern.
The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention has claimed that there have been around 2.5 million diseases linked to flu this season, which has led to 29000 hospitalizations and 2400 deaths so far. States like Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Nebraska, Louisiana, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, South Carolina, Texas, Washington, and Tennessee are among the most affected areas due to influenza B. Levels of flu B virus are rising in Florida as well. The flu activity has increased in Children this time. Puerto Rico is also not untouched by flu diseases. It is witnessing high numbers of flu illnesses. Health professional has advised people do immediately get flu shots if they are not vaccinated yet.
Health officials have urged people to make sure that they are vaccinated. They have said that although the vaccine does not fully protect against the flu but it helps in eliminating severe complications once you catch the flu infection. Severe complications involve hospitalization, pneumonia, and death at times. Last season flu started on a mild note but it went on to become the longest one in 10 years. As per the preliminary reports, it resulted in 49000 deaths and 59000 hospitalizations. In 2003 and 2004, the US witnessed a severe flu outbreak, where 61000 people lost their lives and 810000 people were hospitalized. That time also the flu season started earlier than expected.