About 7 Million People Sick with Flu so far This Season: CDC

Atlanta, GA–According to new data released by CDC, so far during the 2018-2019 season between about 6 and 7 million people have been sick with flu, up to half of those people have sought medical care for their illness, and between 69,000 and 84,000 people have been hospitalized from flu.

This is the first time these estimates— which cover the period from October 1, 2018 through January 5, 2019— are being provided during the flu season. CDC has estimated the burden of flu since 2010.

Calculations are based on adjusted rates of laboratory-confirmed, influenza-associated hospitalizations collected through a surveillance network that covers approximately 8.5% of the U.S. population, or about 27 million people.

Based on this methodology, CDC estimates that as of Jan. 5:

  • 6.2 to 7.3 million people have been sick with flu,
  • 2.9 to 3.5 million people have been to the doctor because of flu, and
  • 69,300 to 83,500 people have been hospitalized because of flu

Each year seasonal flu places a significant burden on the health of people in the United States. These new in-season estimates fill out the picture of the burden of flu in the United States.

CDC continues to recommend flu vaccination as the best way to reduce the risk of flu and its potentially serious complications, including death in children.

In addition to vaccination and appropriate use of antiviral drugs, CDC recommends everyday preventive actions to help stop the spread of germs.

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