Forty-nine states and Puerto Rico reported either regional or widespread flu activity during the week ending December 23, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's most recent surveillance report.
On Thursday, North Carolina's Department of Health and Human Services reported the first death of a child from the flu.
"Flu season typically peaks in January and February, so there is still time to protect yourself and your family from the flu", said Dr. Anissa Davis, Long Beach city health officer, in a statement. The victim was an 83-year-old New Castle County woman living in a nursing home.
If you believe you are coming down with the flu, the CDC recommends you follow these simple steps. People at higher risk of severe disease who show flu symptoms should contact their medical provider.
Cases were also reported in lesser numbers in Des Plaines, Park Ridge, Niles, Glenview, Northbrook, Prospect Heights and western Rolling Meadows. Despite these painful symptoms, most people will recover in less than two weeks.
As many as 36 states across the US have reported widespread influenza activity already, but epidemiologists say it is too soon to say how bad the flu season will be this year.
Take everyday preventive actions like covering coughs and sneezes, avoid touching your eyes or mouth, staying away from sick people and washing your hands often to help stop the spread of respiratory viruses including flu.
In the US, influenza activity has significantly increased over recent weeks with the Influenza A (H3N2) virus strain predominating.
What's not measured, he said, is what happens if you get the flu.
"Influenza antiviral medications are a second line of defense against influenza but their use this flu season is more important than usual because of the circulating A (H3N2) strain".
Trivedi said getting a flu vaccination is still the best way to prevent the virus or decreasing the severity of illness.