US flu season starts early, could be bad, CDC says - WSMV Channel 4

US flu season starts early, could be bad, CDC says

  • US flu season starts early, could be bad, CDC saysMore>>

  • 'Flu Near You' tracks illness

    'Flu Near You' tracks illness

    Tuesday, January 8 2013 6:50 PM EST2013-01-08 23:50:35 GMT
    We all know how awful it is to get the flu, but you may find some comfort knowing you can talk with thousands of others. There's a new project called "Flu Near You" that is designed to track the flu. UnlikeMore >>
    We all know how awful it is to get the flu, but you may find some comfort knowing you can talk with thousands of others.More >>

By By MIKE STOBBE
AP Medical Writer

NEW YORK (AP) - Health officials say flu season is off to its earliest start in nearly 10 years - and it could be a bad one.

The primary strain circulating is one that tends to cause more severe illness, especially in the elderly.

But officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the nation seems to be fairly well prepared. More than a third of Americans have been vaccinated, and the vaccine is well matched to the strains of flu so far.

Officials said Monday that suspected flu cases have jumped in five southern states - Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and Texas. An uptick in flu reports like this usually doesn't occur until after Christmas.

The last time a typical flu season started this early was the winter of 2003-04.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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