KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said nationwide flu activity is going down but is still "elevated". The 2019 flu season ties for the longest in the last five years, at 20 weeks. For comparison, the last five averaged 16 weeks. While flu activity continues to decrease, it remains higher than normal for this time of year. Since last October, the C.D.C. estimates there have been hundreds of thousands of flu hospitalizations and at least 34.9 million flu illnesses. Anyone can get the flu but there are ways to protect yourself.
“I would suggest first, if there are individuals out there who haven't had the flu vaccine but would consider getting it, they should talk with their physician,” said Dr. Bud Wiedermann, an infectious disease expert at Children’s National.
Vaccines are particularly important for those who are high risk for getting the flu, like young children, pregnant women, and people over 65. The C.D.C. also urges everyday preventive measures like avoiding close contact with anyone who is sick and washing your hands often with soap and water.
“If an individual thinks they might be coming down with flu, they have fever, maybe body aches, sneezing, cough, whatever, they should contact their physician.”