Flu Activity Widespread Across United States, CDC Says

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"Flu is now beginning to circulate, and as schools reopen and people return to work we are likely to see increased levels".

A child has died from the flu, the New Jersey Health Department announced Tuesday, making it the first flu-related pediatric death of the season in the state.

While H1N1-predominant seasons tend to be milder overall at the population level compared to those characterized primarily by H3N2, individuals who get hit with either strain won't detect much of a difference - both bring on fever, cough, general malaise and achy muscles and joints, she said from Vancouver.

Those in at-risk groups include people aged 65 and over, pregnant women and people with chronic illness.

Since September, PHAC says 414 children under age 16 have been hospitalized for flu, with the highest estimated rate of admission among kids under five years of age.

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"It's not just flu, but also other respiratory viruses", tweeted hospital CEO Alex Munter, "busy viral season". (Lab-confirmed cases represent a small percentage of all flu cases, often just the ones that require hospitalization).

Twenty-four states and Guam were reporting widespread influenza activity - meaning the virus has spread to many parts of the state, regardless of severity - as of December 29, the latest date included in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) weekly flu report.

Marion County Public Health Department is requesting that hospitals in Marion County begin temporary restrictions for visitors. Data suggests that more people got vaccinated earlier this year than they did last year, perhaps motivated by memories of the prior season. Flu shots are $20 for everyone age 2 and older.

Dr. Nicole Saphier tells you what signs and symptoms to watch out for this flu season.

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