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Flu cases rising at unusual time this year

Published: Mar. 28, 2022 at 1:21 PM CDT
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(CNN) - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says flu season typically peaks between December and February, but in many parts of the country, flu activity is now climbing.

”The flu’s not a joke. People still die from the flu,” said Dr. Daniel Bachmann, an emergency room physician at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.

The latest numbers from the CDC show flu cases are rising in most places across the U.S. but are still lower than pre-pandemic seasons.

This flu season, the CDC estimates there have been at least 3.1 million flu cases, 31,000 hospitalizations and around 1,800 deaths.

The highest levels of flu recorded right now are in the central and south-central regions of the country, where some schools have had to cancel classes due to the surge of cases.

This comes after a nearly nonexistent flu season last year.

”The COVID virus is a respiratory virus also, so the measures that have been useful and helpful in decreasing transmission of that virus have also played some impact on the influenza virus,” Bachmann said.

He says the rise in cases could be because many of those public health measures, like masking and social distancing, are being relaxed. He says it could also be the natural flow of the virus itself, and he recommends getting a flu shot if you haven’t yet.

You can also help slow the spread if you develop symptoms.

”If you have those symptoms, then try to limit your exposure to other people,” Bachmann said.

You can also lower your risk of getting the flu by washing your hands frequently, not touching your nose and eyes, and by wearing a mask if you have flu symptoms.

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