Only predictable thing about flu season is its unpredictability, says United Hospital Center's chief quality officer

Physicians and healthcare teams should prepare for an unpredictable flu season, according to WBOY 12News.

Physicians at Bridgeport, W.Va.-based United Hospital Center suggest the best flu season predictor is looking at the Southern Hemisphere, which has already gone through flu season.

"The one thing that is predictable about the flu is that it is completely unpredictable," Mark Povroznik, MD, United Hospital Center's chief quality officer and chairman of infection control, told WBOY 12News. "Last year it was dramatic there, and of course it was one of our worst years here. This year it was a mild season in the Southern Hemisphere but that doesn't me we get to rest on our laurels."

Physicians also said the flu season is getting longer each year. While flu season typically spans from October to April and hits West Virginia in December, physicians said the state already saw flu cases this summer, according to WBOY 12News.

Health experts told WBAY TV-2 flu season will likely peak in January or February.

The CDC estimated 80,000 people died during the 2017-18 flu season, including 179 children. The agency recommends anyone 6 months and older to receive the flu shot by the end of October.

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