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Seven million sickened as flu season worsens



F the season has increased in recent weeks, and officials estimate that between 6.2 and 7.3 million people have fallen ill since October, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced on Friday.

Agency data, which include from October 1, 2018 to January 5, 2019, show that half of those who got sick went to the doctor and that between 69,300 and 83,500 people were hospitalized.

Officials are still assessing the severity of this year's flu season compared to other years. "The start was delayed, but had an acceleration in recent weeks, with local reports of deaths. 200,000 people are hospitalized on average with the flu each year and the season can last until May. [ Related: The first flu season was without vaccination in Florida] [1

9659002] CDC officials say it's not too late to get flu shots and reminded people that the disease can be fatal – doctors typically give patients antiviral drugs when they get sick, which shortens the amount of time in which they have symptoms such as vomiting, coughing, sneezing, fever, chills and runny nose.The symptoms of influenza can worsen in the case of pneumonia or sinusitis.

Ari uses a mathematical model to evaluate the flu season, which is not exact but uses confirmed laboratory tests and collects data on 27 million people to assess how many people may have become ill.

Starting this week, the CDC will publish estimates every Friday.

Last year's flu season was particularly serious. The vaccine was not very effective and circulated a particular influenza strain that tends to send people to the hospital with a serious illness. Federal data show that last year more than 80,000 people died from flu and complications and another 900,000 were hospitalized. Among the deaths of last year's flu season, a record of 180 were children and most of them had not been vaccinated.

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