ME and New Hampshire were the only New England states with lower levels of flu activity through the end of December, the latest federal comparison data available, while most of the South already had been hit hard by the flu. "This year, the predominant strain we're seeing is H1N1", Shahab said.
The CDC recommends that everyone 6-months-old and older get a flu shot every year.
A young child who died after testing positive for influenza is the first pediatric-flu associated death in Riverside County this flu season, health officials said Wednesday. For reasons of medical privacy, the Department did not release additional information. "This is a tragic reminder that the flu can still kill and that children are particularly susceptible to the illness".
Limerick-based Dr Kevin Kelleher, the assistant national director in health protection, said that flu levels are likely to increase over the coming weeks when the flu begins to actively circulate in the community.
Health officials are urging residents to get a flu vaccine, as it is the best way to protect yourself against the potentially risky virus.
McHenry County is facing a rise in the influenza virus, and health care providers are encouraging residents to get vaccinated.
This is due in part to H1N1, known as the swine flu, being the dominant strain this year.
"So we would like everybody who's eligible to get the vaccine", said Russell, noting that it takes about two weeks for antibodies induced by the shot to come into full effect. Nationally, 80,000 people in that age group died after contracting the virus. County health officials just learned of the death late last week.