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

by Mike Stobbe

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 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 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 started this early was the winter of 2003-04.

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

CDC: Mild flu season apparently winding down

Apr 07, 2009

(AP) -- The flu season is winding down and turning out to be one of the mildest in years, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Recommended for you

Ebola-hit Liberia staring into the abyss

3 hours ago

With its collapsed health service, sick and poorly equipped security forces and broken economy, Ebola-hit Liberia finds itself on the brink of complete societal breakdown, experts warn.

Dallas hospital monitoring patient for Ebola

3 hours ago

A patient in a Dallas hospital is showing signs of the Ebola virus and is being kept in strict isolation with test results pending, hospital officials said Monday.

'Deadly diarrhea' rates nearly doubled in 10 years

12 hours ago

Infections with the intestinal superbug C. difficile nearly doubled from 2001 to 2010 in U.S. hospitals without noticeable improvement in patient mortality rates or hospital lengths of stay, according to a study of 2.2 mi ...

User comments