Why this year's flu is hitting kids hard

Flu Season Is Picking Up. Here's How Many People Have Already Gotten Sick

Flu season typically lasts through the middle of the spring. Photocopier buttons are rarely wiped down and usually a hotbed mashup of several types of germs that can make you ill.

Saskatchewan's Ministry of Health says the province still has vaccination supplies and it's not too late for people to get a flu shot. Designing the correct immunization against flu means guessing which strain or strains will be the big ones, and then making an effective deterrent.

Last year, when the more virulent H3N2 virus was predominant, millions more got sick, almost 1 million were hospitalized, and as many as 80,000 died, according to the CDC. Of those sickened, between 2.9 million and 3.5 million visited a doctor, and an estimated 69,000 to 83,500 were hospitalized, according to the CDC's report. The agency estimates that between 6.2 and 7.3 million people had been sick with the flu as of January 5, and about half of them had seen a doctor because of it.

Everyone aged 6 months and older should get a flu shot every year, the CDC recommends.

Flu season numbers generally peak between December and February.

A complete dashboard tracking flu cases in NY from the Department of Health can be found here .

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Sometimes it can be hard to tell the difference between the common cold and the flu based on symptoms alone.

Seven children have died from the flu so far this season, according to the CDC.

However, the number of people getting flu is down compared to this time of year.

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. People who are very sick or who are at high risk of serious flu complications and get flu symptoms should see a health care provider early in their illness for possible treatment with a flu antiviral drug. Further, the flu season is still ongoing, so the severity indicators are still expected to rise.

Public health experts say flu vaccines are the best way to prevent the flu.

Doctors say they expect another bad year for influenza cases.

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