The old adage of “cover your mouth when you sneeze” couldn’t be more true these days.
Health officials say the flu season in the United States has started earlier this year, and the nation is already seeing more acute cases than in years past.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 41 states have already reported extensive flu activity and more than 2, 000 hospitalizations have been blamed on the virus.
But don’t panic just yet. Check out this list of resources to see if your town is as affected as others around the United States, find out whether you should get a flu vaccine, and how to care for kids who have the flu.
Flu near you
This site has a handy map of how the 2012-2013 flu season has fared in the United States. You can see the number of reported symptoms so far and zero in on your city and state to see if your area is at a higher risk for the flu this year.
Google flu trends
An estimated view of how the flu has spread across the world this year, based on search terms that indicate flu activity.
CDC seasonal influenza basics
Learn how the flu is spread, its common symptoms and how to treat it. You can also learn the difference between the flu and other respiratory viruses here.
CDC mobile apps
A list of mobile apps from the CDC that can help you track the flu on the go or find a local care provider.
Here you can get more information about how the flu vaccine works and why it’s important. You can also find ways to care for your loved ones who are sick with the flu.
This site is geared specifically toward how the flu affects kids. You can watch videos of doctors’ advice on the safety of the flu vaccine for your children, as well as common myths about the flu.
Families Fighting Flu
Another site dedicated to kids with the flu, but this one is aimed at preventing the flu instead of treating it.