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U.S. flu activity decreasing

NEED TO KNOW
  • 38 states reporting widespread flu activity, down from 42 states last week
  • This year’s flu got off to its earliest start in nearly a decade
U.S. flu activity decreasing

Flu season activity is finally decreasing according to the latest numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

For the week ending Jan. 26, the CDC is reporting that just 19 states in the U.S. have high levels of flu activity, whereas 38 states are reporting widespread flu activity, which is down from 42 states from the previous week.

The CDC defines influenza (the flu) as a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. This year’s flu got off to its earliest start in nearly a decade -- nearly five weeks early.

The majority of those hospitalized for the flu have been 65 or older. However, 59 children have died this flu season, the CDC said.

Erica Brownfield, MD, a professor of internal medicine at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, tells WebMD the best flu prevention strategy is good nutrition, regular exercise and enough sleep. She also notes one should also wash their hands frequently and avoid people who have the flu.

The CDC also says people can prevent the flu by getting vaccinated each year.

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