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Since October 2018, up to around 7.3 million people in the U.S. have been sick with the flu. Veuer's Mercer Morrison has the story.
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As the flu season enters its most active period, early data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to a milder season than last year.

As many as 7.3 million people have fallen sick with the flu since the season started in October, the CDC reported Friday. An estimated 69,000 to 84,000 have been hospitalized.

The report offered the first peek at data for the 2018-19 season, which normally runs from October to late May.

In most parts of the country, most illnesses right now According to CDC officials, there are fewer hospitalizations and deaths than last year's strain.

Nurse practitioner, Katherine Male, prepares an influenza vaccination at the CVS Pharmacy store's MinuteClinic on Oct. 4, 2018 in Miami. (Photo: Joe Raedle, Getty Images)

Vaccines also work better against it, the CDC's Dr. Alicia Fry said, which suggests a milder flu season.

"If (this strain) continues to be the predominant virus, which is what we expect," said Fry, head of the epidemiology and prevention branch in the CDC's flu division

While any flu activity is alarming, the CDC says, the overall hospitalization rate is 9.1 per 100,000. The overall hospitalization rate was 30.5 per 100,000

Last season, an estimated 49 million Americans got sick from the flu, 23 million went to medical care and 960,000 were hospitalized.

The CDC usually has issue issues until a season is over, but researchers have developed a model they believe is good enough to use during the season.

One positive sign than flu season enters what is typically the worst period: More people have received flu shots this year than last year. By November 2018, the CDC estimated that 44.9 percent of adults had been vaccinated. Only 37. 1 percent had done so even by the end of the 2017-18 season.

More: Flu cases surge: Here's what you need to know to stay healthy [19659005] In the latest data, widespread influenza activity was reported in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey. New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Utah, Vermont, Virginia and Wyoming.

Widespread outbreak denotes fluids increases in influenza-like illnesses at least half of the regions of a state.

Regional influenza activity was reported by Puerto Rico and Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota. , Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

regions of a state

Contributing: Associated Press

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