While the flu season is in full swing, nearly 17.8 million people – including 2 million more in the last week – have been infected with the flu since October, when the control and prevention centers diseases call a season of "low gravity", officials said Friday.

Despite a milder season this year, the CDC warns that influenza activity is the highest of all seasons and urges people to get vaccinated, take daily preventive measures and use antivirals as recommended.

The flu is "spread" geographically in Puerto Rico and in 48 states, which means that cases have been reported in more than half of the state's regions, according to the CDC.

The flu is responsible for 11,600 to 19,100 deaths, with up to 221,000 hospitalizations and up to 8.4 million medical visits. The CDC says there have been 34 pediatric deaths this season.

However, the CDC found a lower percentage of outpatient visits, hospitalization rates, and deaths attributed to pneumonia and influenza compared to recent years.

During the last influenza season, which spans from October to the end of May, an estimated 49 million Americans have become ill, 23 million have sought medical attention and 960,000 have number of people hospitalized.

In this archive photo from February 7, 2018, a nurse is preparing a flu vaccine against the Salvation Army in Atlanta. (Photo11: David Goldman, AP)

While any flu activity is alarming, According to the CDC, the overall hospitalization rate so far this season is 23.8 per 100,000 population, compared to 30.5 per 100,000 at the same time last year. The highest rate is among adults aged 65 and over, representing 64 hospitalizations per 100,000 population.

With the exception of the 50 to 64 age group, where hospitalizations are about the same as in 2018, the rates "are significantly lower than last season," says the CDC.

The CDC awards vaccines to mitigate the impact of the flu this year.

"Preliminary estimates indicate that influenza vaccines have reduced the risk of influenza-mediated disease by nearly half (47%) in vaccinated individuals so far this season," said the CDC.

For the first time, the CDC this year has been able to track key data in near real time instead of waiting for the end of the season.

The latest report indicates that influenza vaccinations have reduced the prevalence of influenza A (H1N1) -influenza A (H1N1) -influenza A (H1N1) diseases by approximately 46% in patients of all ages and ages. about 62% in children from 6 months to 17 years. .

While H1N1 has predominated nationally, influenza A (H3N2) has largely been confined to the southeastern states.

Nevertheless, the latest CDC reports indicate that influenza activity since December has "globally increased and remained high" until early February.

In January, when reviewing the first set of data, the CDC forecasted a milder season than the year before, and this trend appears to be continuing as new information comes in.

This first report indicated that 7.3 million people had fallen ill with influenza since the beginning of the season in October, with approximately 69,000 to 84,000 hospitalized.

A positive sign is that the influenza season is entering its worst period: more people have received an influenza vaccine this year than last year In November 2018, the CDC estimated that 44.9% of adults had been vaccinated. Only 37.1% had done so even at the end of the 2017-18 season.

In the latest data, Puerto Rico and 48 states reported widespread influenza activity: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine . Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island , South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

A generalized epidemic indicates an influenza or an increase in influenza-like illnesses in at least half of the regions of a state.

West Virginia reported regional influenza activity.

A regional outbreak means an influenza or an increase of flu-like illnesses or confirmed influenza in at least two but less than half of the regions of a state.

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