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Flu season, with activity in 30 states, gets earliest start in a decade

November 22nd, 2019 by WCBC Radio

The flu has come early this year, with at least 30 states are already seeing flu activity, including widespread activity in California, Louisiana and Maryland, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

It’s unclear how severe this year’s flu strain will be, or how long flu season will last, but it’s the earliest start in a decade.

“Flu is off to a vigorous start,” said Dr. William Schaffner, medical director for the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases. “[It’s] earlier than in any of the previous recent years.”

Although people often brush off the prospect of contracting the flu, the infectious disease is deadlier than many realize. Nearly 80,000 Americans died and 96,000 were hospitalized during the 2017-2018 flu season, the CDC reported.

The best defense against the flu is an annual vaccine, which experts recommend getting earlier in the season because it takes about two weeks to kick in

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