Flu has arrived for the holiday season, CDC warns

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MI health officials announced Friday the first influenza-associated pediatric death of the season.

Health officials in Wyoming are urging people to get vaccinated against influenza following an unusually large number of flu deaths last winter.

Flu is a contagious, viral respiratory illness.

State Epidemiologist Alexia Harrist says almost everybody age 6 months or older should get a seasonal flu shot.

"It's too soon to make any assessment about this season's severity, however since this H1N1 virus emerged in 2009, it has been associated with significant illness and severe illness among young children", the CDC said. By contrast, an estimated 80,000 people died and 900,000 people were hospitalized from flu-related complications during the 2017-18 flu season. It is the highest weekly number reported since the season officially started October 1 but far below the numbers typically reported when flu is widespread.

In the U.S., antiviral medications and various flu vaccines are available in most pharmacies.

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None of these are correct, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

People under the age of 45 were the least likely to report being vaccinated.

In the week that ended December 15, the most recent for which there is data, there were 1,230 lab-confirmed cases of the flu statewide, 601 of which were in New York City specifically.

If you do get the flu, stay home, Redfield advised.

The top three reasons why they didn't want the shot were: bad side effects; thinking they'll get the flu from the shot; or thinking it doesn't work. Many were adults older than 65, but also 180 children died from the flu.

Only 22 flu cases have been reported this season. "It takes approximately two weeks for the protection provided by vaccination to begin", the CDC said.