SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tracks seasonal flu activity in the United States. The CDC also provides a flu forecast.
On December 3, the organization reported flu activity will increase across the country and remain above the baseline for the next few weeks. The report also states, “the flu will likely peak between December and February, with a 40% chance of a peak in December, a 30% chance of a peak in January, and a 25% chance of a peak in February.”
From this most current data, Texas, Puerto Rico, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee and South Carolina all experienced high rates of influenza related illnesses. Seven other jurisdictions had moderate activity, but South Dakota remains in the minimal category. The latest data shows influenza B is more prominent than influenza A.
But how can you prevent yourself from getting the flu?
The CDC says the most important preventative measure is getting the flu vaccine. The vaccine prevents against three or four strains of influenza. Try to avoid contact with sick people. Wash your hands often with soap and water, or you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Lastly, clean and disinfect surfaces that may have come into contact with someone who is sick.
If you haven’t gotten a flu vaccine yet, you can use this finder to locate a clinic near you.
What are influenza symptoms?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says flu symptoms usually come on suddenly. People who are sick with flu often feel some or all of these symptoms:
- Fever* or feeling feverish/chills
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Muscle or body aches
- Fatigue (tiredness)
- Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.
The group also states not everyone with the flu will have a fever.
Are some viruses more prominent in different age groups?
- Virus B is more prominent in children ages zero to four
- Virus B is more prominent in people ages five to 24
- Virus A is more prominent in people ages 25 to 64
- Virus A is more prominent in people ages 65+
To view the percentages of the above graph, click here.