Flu deaths rise in Iowa

The worst flu season in years is only getting worse, with 49 states now seeing widespread misery, US health officials report. And among the 54 jurisdictions in the flu surveillance system (every state plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands), 50 reported "regional" or "widespread" flu activity at the end of previous year. Grey said flu season hits hardest in February, but this year she's seen it begin to rise in January.

"Flu is everywhere in the USA right now", Dr Dan Jernigan, director of the influenza division at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told reporters on a conference call.

The Minnesota Department of Health now officially categorizes the outbreak as as "widespread", with more than 1,765 hospitalizations over the last 12 weeks-more than 10 times the amount from a year ago.

Unfortunately, the end of this flu season is nowhere in sight. This year, the H3N2 strain is spreading fast, and appears to be more widespread and potent than last year.

According to CDC director Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald, "While our flu vaccines are far from ideal, they are the best way to prevent getting sick from the flu, and it is not too late to get one".

Grey said the CDC typically takes a look at the strains of flu going around the world to create the vaccine.

Already, 26 people died from the flu in North Carolina. If you're lucky, you may have mild symptoms like a cough and a runny nose.

"This year, so far in the USA, about 85 percent of the flu strains have been Influenza A H3N2 and 15 percent Influenza B", Folk said.

"It's not too late yet to get a flu shot", Quinlisk said. The children's vaccine is available at all of DCHHS' immunization clinics.

With a spike in the number of flu cases across the country, it's been a busy time for some pharmacies in Regina. "The vaccine helps your body develop protection in two weeks and can lessen severity if one gets the flu". "As well, there's always a chance you will get the flu so if you don't want the flu, I'd definitely recommend getting the flu shot".

People at higher risk are those with chronic medical conditions, pregnant women, children under age two and people over 65.

If you get the flu, stay home and rest so you don't spread it to other people. In San Diego county, 46 people have died from the flu.

According to the CDC, there have been more than 41,000 cases nationwide this flue season, three times higher than last season.