LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Federal Health officials say this year’s flu season is already as bad as last year, and it could get worse.
So far, nearly 3,000 people have died from the flu and that worries doctors because we’re still two months away from when flu cases typically peak.
Washington D.C. correspondent Trevor Shirley spoke with a leading expert on the flu and has tips on how to protect yourself and your family.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for allergy and infectious disease has a blunt warning.
“Flu can kill you, flu can make you very sick,” said Dr. Fauci.
According to the CDC, as of last week, more than 6.4 million people were infected. Nearly 3,000 people, including 27 children, have died and more than 55,000 people were hospitalized.
“This year we are on a trajectory that looks like it’s right tracking with two of the worst years we’ve had, 2017-18 and 2014-15,” said Dr. Fauci.
And what worries experts like Fauci the most, is that statistically, we haven’t even reached the height of flu season.
A map shows how widespread the disease is across the country with states in dark red reporting the highest number of cases, you can see that map in the video above.
“We have not yet peaked for sure, we generally peak late in the winter,” said Dr. Fauci.
The good news? It’s not too late to get a flu shot especially for those at higher risk, like kids, the elderly, or people with medical conditions.
“The benefits of influenza vaccines are very clear, either you protect yourself from getting initially infected, or even if you do get infected it can prevent you from progressing to serious disease,” said Dr. Fauci.
The vaccine is widely available in pharmacies and doctors’ offices. Fauci has said that it’s your best line of defense.
“If you have not gotten vaccinated, you should get vaccinated, it is not too late to get vaccinated,” said Dr. Fauci.