The Washington Post offers five things you should know about this particularly bad flu season.
The nation is having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad flu season. Flu is widespread in 46 states, according to reports to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nationally, as of mid-December, at least 106 people had died of the infectious disease.
In addition, states across the country are reporting higher-than-average flu-related hospitalizations and emergency room visits. Hospitalization rates are highest among people older than 50 and children younger than 5. In California, which is among the hardest-hit states, the virus struck surprisingly early this season. The state’s warmer temperatures typically mean people are less confined indoors during the winter months. As a result, flu season usually strikes later than in other regions.