Debbie Lord, Cox Media Group National Content Desk
Health officials are saying the flu season is shaping up to be a particularly severe one, with the number of cases reported at nearly four times the number of influenza cases at the same time last year.
"This is a bad bug," Dr. Daniel Jernigan, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Influenza Division, said. "What we're seeing this year, the influenza season started earlier and seems to be peaking right about now. That's about a month earlier than it normally would be peaking," he said, "so lots of cases are happening, in lots of states, all at the same time.”
H3N2 is the strain of flu that has been seen most this season, and it has proven to be a deadly strain. At least 60 children have died from the flu this year.
"In years when there is H3N2, we do see that there are more deaths,” Jernigan said.
The CDC tracks information about the spread of the flu using data sent from state health departments to create and maintain an “influenza surveillance map.” The map shows the number of flu cases reported to each state’s health department and where the flu is hitting the hardest.
Below are the links to each state’s health department, where localized information about influenza can be found. Click on the website and look for a listing called “Surveillance Reports,” or “Surveillance Maps,” then look for the week’s report to give you the latest information.
CHICAGO - OCTOBER 12: Robert Garner, 71, receives a flu shot, offered free by the city of Chicago from registered nurse Betty Lewis October 12, 2006 in Chicago, Illinois. In a switch from recent years, vaccine makers are expected to produce an ample supply, with plans for distribution of more than 100 million doses nationwide by January, according to health officials. (Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images)
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