The flu hospitalization rate rose to 22.7 per 100,000 people in the first week of January from 17.7 the prior week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported today. Every state but Hawaii reported widespread flu activity, while the District of Columbia has local activity. H3N2 A viruses are predominating this flu season and in past seasons have been associated with more hospitalizations and deaths in older adults and young children. A total of 6,486 flu hospitalizations and 20 flu-associated pediatric deaths have been reported since October. CDC recommends treating all hospitalized, severely ill and high-risk patients who have suspected or confirmed influenza with antiviral medications as soon as possible. While spot shortages and delays in filling antiviral drug orders have been reported, the agency expects national supply to be sufficient to meet high demand. It’s also not too late to get an annual flu vaccine, recommended for everyone aged six months and older to prevent flu.

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