It's no secret that this year's flu is terrible, but new statistics are showing just how bad it really is. According to a government report released on Feb. 9, this year's flu is as bad as the swine flu of 2009. Reporting on the government's findings, the Associated Press wrote, "[The report] shows one of every 13 visits to the doctor last week was for fever, cough, and other symptoms of the flu. That ties the highest level seen in the US during swine flu in 2009." Ugh! The AP notes that some doctors claim this is the worst flu season they've seen in decades.
Flu season typically lasts from December through February, and the reason 2018's is uncharacteristically bad is that this year's strain causes severer symptoms and the flu shot is less effective than usual. Flu season is expected to last a while longer, and it has not yet hit its peak. So far, 63 kids have died from the flu this year, and the number of hospitalizations has been about three times as high as this time last year.
Aside from matching the number of flu-related doctor visits during 2009's swine flu season, this year also "surpasses every Winter flu season since 2003," PBS reports. Maybe a flu-season survival kit is a good idea after all.
Take caution, everyone! Wash your hands, stay home if you're sick, and look for symptoms, especially in kids.