Flu season may be severe, health officials say

Health officials are predicting the upcoming flu season to be severe, according to U.S. News & World Report.

One pediatric flu-related death has already been reported in California. The 4-year-old patient, who had underlying health conditions, tested positive for the flu earlier this month. 

"A death so early in the flu season suggests this year may be worse than usual," Cameron Kaiser, MD, health officer for Riverside County, Calif.'s public health department, said in a press release

Australia's flu season, which officials use as an indicator of the upcoming season in the United States, was severe and came early this year. Australia's health department reported an increase in flu activity this season, with influenza A constituting 93 percent of reported cases.

The United States' 2018-19 flu season had a "moderate severity," with activity increasing in November and peaking mid-February, according to the CDC. With a 21-week duration, it was the longest flu season in a decade. 

The CDC recommends that almost everyone 6 months and older receive the flu vaccine every year.  

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One pediatric flu-related death has already been reported in California. The 4-year-old patient, who had underlying health conditions, tested positive for the flu earlier this month.

"A death so early in the flu season suggests this year may be worse than usual," Cameron Kaiser, MD, health officer for Riverside County, Calif.'s public health department, said in a press release.

Australia's flu season, which officials use as an indicator of the upcoming season in the United States, was severe and came early this year. Australia's health department reported an increase in flu activity this season, with influenza A constituting 93 percent of reported cases.

The United States' 2018-19 flu season had a "moderate severity," with activity increasing in November and peaking mid-February, according to the CDC. With a 21-week duration, it was the longest flu season in a decade.

The CDC recommends that almost everyone 6 months and older receive the flu vaccine every year.

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