4th flu death of the season occurs in Indiana

Flu taking toll in California, other states, but having milder impact nationwide, data show

Flu taking toll in California, other states, but having milder impact nationwide, data show

The predominant strain this year is influenza A H1N1, which officials said tends to have less severe symptoms than the predominant strain that circulated last season.

The latest Center for Disease Control report lists flu activity in 30 states so far.

These estimates are cumulative and will be updated over the course of the annual flu season on Fridays.

The CDC hasn't released data on the total number of deaths so far this season, saying 16 influenza-associated pediatric deaths have been reported nationwide to the agency this season. Flu season typically lasts through the middle of the spring.

And in Saskatchewan, public health officials are pleading with parents to get their children vaccinated after influenza killed three unvaccinated preschoolers in the province.

Statewide, 331 people have been hospitalized due to flu complications, including 38 in Oklahoma County, according to the Oklahoma State Department of Health. "If you are sick with flu-like illness, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities", the CDC said.

It's hard to gauge how lethal the flu season has been for children across the country because Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia don't track influenza-related deaths in real time.

Pneumonia and influenza mortality was 6.4% for the week ending December 29, 2018, which was below the system-specific epidemic threshold.

The health agency also released new estimates of how the flu season is playing out.

The flu is expected to affect more people, so the CDC is still recommending that people get a flu shot.

Experts say it's not too late to reap the benefits of a flu vaccine.

"I think we could be doing a better job to really raise awareness to say kids between six months to five years old are a high-risk group".

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