Flu continues to hit South hard

News

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The flu season is continuing to hit southern states hard as influenza begins to spread across the country.

The flu season got off to an early start in the Deep South. The most recent weekly flu report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds high levels of flu-like illness in 19 states, including most southern states.

Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Washington are the states reporting high levels of flu.

The CDC estimates that so far this season there have been at least 3.7 million flu illnesses, 32,000 hospitalizations, and 1,800 deaths from flu. So far in the 2019-2020 flu season, CDC has reported 19 flu-associated deaths among children.

Illnesses are mostly being caused by influenza B/Victoria viruses, which is unusual for this time of year because Type B does not usually become prevalent until later in the flu season.

CDC officials say it’s not too late to get vaccinated. They say the flu vaccine is the best way to prevent flu and its complications.