This year’s flu season is starting earlier and hitting harder than it has in almost a decade, officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.
“This is at least a month earlier than we would generally see the beginning of the uptick in cases,” said CDC director Thomas Frieden.
The flu strains circulating in the United States this year, especially the N3N2 strain, tend to cause more severe disease as well, he said. The good news is that this year’s flu vaccine is a 90% match for the circulating strains. “So we’re particularly encouraging people who haven’t been vaccinated to do it,” he said.