Flu patient Donnie Cardenas, right, waits in an emergency room hallway with roommate Torrey Jewett at the Palomar Medical Center in Escondido, Calif., on Jan. 10. Gregory Bull/AP hide caption
toggle caption Gregory Bull/AP
The United States appears to be in the midst of an unusually severe flu season, officials at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday.
The flu season started early, which is never a good sign, and the flu is already widespread throughout the country, the CDC’s latest report shows. Half of states are reporting especially intense flu activity.
“We are currently in the midst of a very active flu season with much of the nation experiencing widespread and intense activity,” CDC Director Brenda Fitzgerald told reporters during a briefing.
Based on the latest available data, the United States could be experiencing one of the most severe flu seasons in years, possibly similar to the severe 2014-2015 flu season, officials say.
“Flu is everywhere in the U.S. right now. There’s lots of flu in lots of places,” says Dan Jernigan, director of CDC’s influenza division.