ATLANTA (CNN/Gray News) – Influenza has sickened 3.7 million since the official season began in late September.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the infection has killed 1,800 people and sent 32,000 to the hospital.
Nine more children have died in the last week, bringing the total to 19 for the 2019-2020 flu season.
All regions of the country are seeing elevated levels of flu-like illness, according to the CDC.
There is widespread flu activity in Puerto Rico and 30 states: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Washington.
Not only is flu season striking faster and earlier than usual, but it’s also bringing a mix of viruses.
Influenza B, which hits kids harder than adults, typically shows up later in the season. This year, it’s been seen in 60% of the specimens collected at public health labs.
Influenza A is usually the more dominant flu virus early in the season.
Flu shots are recommended for everyone 6 months of age and older.