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 reveals shortcomings of African solidarity

19 hours ago

As Africa's leaders meet in Ethiopia to discuss the Ebola crisis, expectations of firm action will be tempered by criticism over the continent's poor record in the early stages of the epidemic.

Second bird flu case confirmed in Canada

Jan 30, 2015

The husband of a Canadian who was diagnosed earlier this week with bird flu after returning from a trip to China has also tested positive for the virus, health officials said Friday.

What exactly is coronavirus?

Jan 30, 2015

The conflicts in Syria and Iraq are straining public health systems and public health efforts meant to prevent and detect the spread of infectious diseases. This is generating a "perfect storm" of conditions for outbreaks. Among the infections raising concern is Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, caused by a type of coronavirus, which emerged in 2012. ...

Scientists find Ebola virus is mutating

Jan 30, 2015

(Medical Xpress)—Researchers working at Institut Pasteur in France have found that the Ebola virus is mutating "a lot" causing concern in the African countries where the virus has killed over eight thous ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.