Nothing to sniff at: 7 million cases of flu
As many as 7 million Americans have been sick with the flu so far this season, federal health officials revealed Friday in the first set of stats they’ve ever released while a flu season was still ongoing.
The numbers also show that as many as 3.5 million have gone to the doctor due to the flu, and as many as 83,000 have been hospitalized because of the nasty virus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced.
This is the first time these estimates cover the period from Oct. 1 through Jan. 5. The estimates will continue to be updated every Friday during the season, which generally runs as late as May.
A CDC spokesman told the Daily News that the agency is not yet comfortable assessing the severity of this flu season until it’s over, since there are no comparative stats for the same time frame last year.
Last year’s flu season was the worst in decades, with nearly 50 million Americans coming down with the virus and nearly 80,000 deaths.
“CDC continues to recommend flu vaccination as the best way to reduce the risk of flu and its potentially serious complications, including death in children,” the agency stated.