Take flu precautions during New Year's: CDC

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Flu activity is increasing in the United States, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Friday.

Over the holiday week, the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) reported 16 new hospitalizations related to the flu between Dec. 19 to Christmas Day Dec. 25. That's an increase from the previous week, when two states, Colorado and Georgia, experienced high flu activity.

Some other areas as well, including New Jersey, are observing some moderate levels of the flu activity, and it is expected to get worse over time, thus calling for some preventative measures.

October had been the official start of the flu season with Influenza A viruses making their way across the US; however, influenza B viruses have also been circulating.

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So far this year, there have already been seven pediatric deaths attributed to the flu.

A total of 272 people have been identified as having come into contact with the baby, and 15 of them have developed a fever, cough and runny nose, Chuang said, adding that the people are being monitored until January 8.

Last year, CDC estimated that roughly 79,000 people with flu-like symptoms died, the highest since 2009, of which 185 were children under 18.

According to the CDC, the flu virus was responsible for almost 79,000 deaths during the 2017-2018 flu season.

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Some people may also experience a fever and vomiting or diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.

Although many people don't get vaccinated over fears that it can cause the flu, Dr. LaPook said that is "scientifically impossible".

"Because flu vaccination is the best way to prevent death and hospitalization due to the flu, people not yet vaccinated this season should get a flu vaccination as soon as possible".

"This system provides an overall indication of whether flu-associated deaths are elevated, but does not provide an exact number of how many people died from flu", the CDC website says. This includes people 65 years and older, any age with certain chronic medical conditions, pregnant women, and children under 5.

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