CDC: Worst of flu season may be over

CDC: Worst of flu season may be over
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The worst of the nation’s flu season may be over, according to new data from federal officials.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Friday said the 2017–2018 flu season peaked in early February and is now on the decline. While 45 states plus Puerto Rico continued to report widespread flu activity, that number is down compared to past weeks, the CDC said Friday.

The number of people going to their doctor with flu-like symptoms declined in the last week, CDC said. However, an additional 17 children died from the flu in the past week, bringing the total number of flu-related pediatric deaths this season to 114.

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The CDC said flu activity is likely to remain elevated for several more weeks.

CDC officials aren’t exactly sure why this season has been so severe, but most of the country has been hit by the flu at the same time, which officials said was unusual.

Flu season began in October; the average duration is 16 weeks, but it can last up to 20 weeks.

The CDC said it continues to recommend flu shots for everyone aged 6 months and older, as flu viruses are likely to continue circulating for weeks.

The agency said early results show that flu vaccine has reduced the risk of having to go to the doctor due to flu by 36 percent overall through Feb. 3.