Flu vaccination also may make illness milder if you do get sick. A total of2,794 absences due to illness were reported in January, close to the 2,841 that were reported in October of 2009, when the swine flu broke out.
"Overall hospitalizations are now significantly higher than what we've seen for this time of year since our current tracking system began nearly a decade ago, in 2010", Schuchat said.
While flu or pneumonia was listed on 10.1% of death certificates for the week, Dr. Schuchat said deaths probably have not peaked.
"(This year's) vaccine is possibly not for exactly the same brand of flu that we're getting here, but it never is", he said. Most insurance plans cover flu shots with no copay.
Mihalik recommended avoiding large gatherings where flu can spread easily.
Patsy Malas, Campus Nurse, says the most important thing to know is that the flu is most contagious during the 24 hours after all symptoms have cleared.
The study showed that adding thermometer data, which captures clinically relevant symptoms (temperature) likely even before a person goes to the doctor, to simple forecasting models, improved predictions of flu activity. The number of flu-related hospitalizations in DE has also doubled, going from 158 this time a year ago to 398 so far this season. She says, historically, about 80 percent of children who have died from influenza were not vaccinated. Further only 31 percent of the babies over 6 months that died of flue had received the flu vaccines.
As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continues to track this year's severe flu season, initial data from the CDC's national surveillance system indicates that the severity will be as high or higher than what was seen in the 2014-2015 season, agency officials predict. There has also been an increase in B viruses (particularly in Western states), which may be more susceptible to the flu vaccine. The CDC statistics place this flu season's mortality rates at 9.7%, which is above the epidemic threshold of 7.2%.
Dr. Mark Loeb, an infectious disease expert with the department of medicine at McMaster University, told CBC's The Morning Edition components of influenza A an B are in every flu vaccine. If you are experiencing fever, runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, cough, muscle aches and headaches, visit your doctor immediately, and take antivirals if prescribed.