(HealthDay News) Flu season is starting to take hold across the country, and U.S. health officials are urging everyone who hasn’t gotten a flu shot yet to get one now.
“Flu activity is…starting to increase,” Lynnette Brammer, an epidemiologist with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Friday.
Although flu is scattered throughout the United States, the hardest hit places so far are New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico, the Southeast and the Northwest, Brammer said. Most of the virus out there is influenza H3N2, she added. That strain is part of this year’s flu vaccine, according to the CDC.
Flu activity will pick up, she said. “We don’t know how severe the season is going to be, so there is still time to get vaccinated. And getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself,” she said.
This year’s season is starting out much like last year, Brammer said. Currently, influenza H3N2 is the predominant strain, she said, although H1N1 is also circulating. Last year, the H3N2 virus started out as the dominant strain, only to be displaced by H1N1 as flu season hit full swing. “It ended up being an H1N1 season,” she said. Read more from Health Day News.