CDC: More than six million people have had flu this season

Flu taking toll in California, other states, but having milder impact nationwide, data show

Flu taking toll in California, other states, but having milder impact nationwide, data show

In Arizona, there have been 4,510 confirmed cases of influenza this season compared to 16,144 a year ago at this time, and the flu is widespread throughout the state. Almost all of the pediatric illnesses are linked to H1N1.

These estimates are cumulative and will be updated over the course of the annual flu season on Fridays. Data presented in FluView allow CDC to track flu activity, but do not provide exact case counts, with the exception of flu-associated pediatric deaths and human infections with novel influenza A viruses, which are nationally notifiable. Most of those who were hospitalized or died were senior citizens.

So far this season, Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia have each recorded one death in which the patient had a lab-confirmed case of the flu.

Laurentiu Givelichian, the head of pediatrics for the University of Saskatchewan and the Saskatchewan Health Authority, said that in his province the flu isn't just affecting more kids than usual - it's making them sicker, too.

"We can not take the risk any more", he said. Even if someone gets sick with flu, antiviral drugs may be an option, she said, especially for people who are at high risk of serious flu complications, including young children, adults 65 and older, pregnant women, and people with certain medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, and heart disease.

The Arkansas Department of Health said Tuesday that a total of 11 people have died due to influenza.

All three deaths occurred during the week ending December 29, 2018. Anyone with flu complications or symptoms should seek medical treatment with an anti-viral drug, officials said.

The CDC recommends flu vaccinations to decrease the risk of contracting the virus and its possibly deadly side effects. "Year in and year out, people who get a flu vaccine are better off than people who do not get vaccinated", the CDC said.