What we know about the flu season so far: ANALYSIS originally appeared on abcnews.go.com.
The new year may have just begun, but the 2018-2019 flu season is well underway.
Across the U.S., outpatient clinic visits for flu-like symptoms during the last full week of December are double what they would be during a typical week outside of flu season.
Almost 6 percent of patient samples sent to the lab from Sept. 30 through December have been flu-positive, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, in the week preceding New Year’s Eve, that figure jumped to over 13 percent.
Flu rates typically peak in the U.S. between December and February. If you haven’t already received the flu shot, there’s no better time than now to protect yourself and your loved ones by getting the vaccine. People who are at most risk for flu complications include children, pregnant women, people over 65, those with chronic medical conditions and nursing home residents. In these cases the flu vaccine could be life-saving.