Health officials urge people to get flu vaccine

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Reports of flu are now widespread throughout the state, according to the California Department of Public Health.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services reported our state's first child death for the 2017-2018 flu season on Thursday.

Peak flu activity in the United States usually occurs around February, Radke said.

Adults 65 years and older.

This week, WebMD ranked Kansas City No. 5 on its cold and flu map, indicating that the risk of getting a cold or flu in both Kansas and Missouri is severe. The flu vaccine is safe and effective.

Signs and symptoms of the flu include fever or feeling feverish, chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches, fatigue and possibly vomiting and diarrhea.

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The California Department of Public Health said that as of December 16, the date of its most recent report, it counted 10 deaths in its under-65 population. All but five of the state's 75 counties officially reported influenza cases.

Though it's still too early to say whether this winter will be a bad flu season, epidemiologists in 36 states - including NY - have already reported "widespread influenza activity", according to data released by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday.

And even if you do get the flu, a shot can hopefully make it a bit more mild.

"It's just one of those years where the CDC is seeing that this strain of flu is only somewhat covered by the vaccine that was given this year", said Jennifer Radtke, manager for infection prevention at the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville, as quoted by USA Today.

The agency also urges people to stay at home when sick, cover mouths and noses when coughing or sneezing, and washing hands frequently. Those who were vaccinated and still get the flu are "less likely to have the complications of pneumonia, having to be hospitalized and dying", said Schaffner.

Officials said Influenza A viruses continue to be the predominant circulating strains.