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About 7 million have been ill with the flu so far this season

Influenza seasons have been particularly difficult in recent years and this one is no different.

8-2019 season. The estimates are extrapolated from data from about 27 million people, or about 8.5 percent of the US population, federal health officials said.

The CDC would not provide information on how many people have died of flu-like illness so far this season, adding it will do it once "there is sufficient data to support a more accurate estimate for that outcome."

The influenza season typically runs from October to as late as May, with activity tending to peak between December and February according to the CDC. The Agency recommends vaccinating early, preferably at the end of October, before the flu begins to spread.

Children older than 6 months should be vaccinated with a traditional shot. For toddlers who are 2 years old or older, a shot or a nasal spray called FluMist is recommended.

The CDC also recommends that people with flu-like illness live at home for at least 24 hours after the fever is gone in addition to receiving care or for other necessities.

Thirty-five percent of US adults were estimated to have been vaccinated at the latest by the flu season, 6 percentage points compared to the previous year, according to the CDC. It estimates that the flu killed more than 80,000 people and caused over 900,000 hospital stays last year.

Angelica LaVito
contributed to this report.

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