US flu season poised to be milder than last year's harsh one

Here's How Many People Have Caught the Flu So Far This Season (Hint: It's a Lot)

Here's How Many People Have Caught the Flu So Far This Season (Hint: It's a Lot)

In most parts of the country, most illnesses right now are being caused by a flu strain that leads to fewer hospitalizations and deaths as the kind of flu that dominated a year ago, according to officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

It's early, but the current flu season is shaping up to be gentler than last winter's unusually brutal one, USA health officials said.

The CDC has no estimate of deaths so far this season, partly because it's so early.

Health officials recommend Hoosiers protect their families by getting a flu shot if they haven't already and to take precautions, including frequent hand-washing and covering their mouths when coughing.

Though the flu is now widespread in about half of states, the 2018-2019 season got off to a relatively mild start, at least compared to the severe 2017-2018 season.

Flu activity remains high in Canada, according to a new report released on Friday that confirms children and teens were hit hard.

In North Carolina, state health officials said six people died from the flu last week, raising the death toll for the season to 16.

-Roughly 70,000 to 80,000 have been hospitalized.

Death estimates for adults who contracted the flu are not yet available, but as of late December, the CDC said that about 6% of deaths nationwide were due to influenza or pneumonia. "It seems more like a typical flu season", he said.