JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Health officials from the CDC confirm that flu activity is at "high" to "extremely high" levels in more than a dozen regions around the United States.
You've heard us say it week after week, it's been a rough flu season and now that we're in the peak of it, doctors want to make sure you're not ignoring the signs of flu.
Over and over again, doctors continue to report that the it's been one of the worst weeks for the flu.
The virus is spreading and the numbers are climbing. 15 flu-related deaths have been reported this season.
Our CareSpots in Duval County say they're treating 8-10 patients a day with the virus. They've had to send home several kids and adults- keeping them away from school and work. Strep throat cases have also been unusually high.
In Clay County at the CareSpot in Middleburg, flu sufferers are getting the doctors order to stay home for 48-72 hours. An increase in pollen has led to allergy-related sinus infections, bronchitis and strep throat.
In St. Johns County at CareSpot in St. Augustinem the kick in pollen has also led to sinus infections. Flu and strep throat remain their top concerns. Over the weekend, they had 8 patients sick with fever and chills.
In Nassau County at the CareSpot in Yulee, the doctors say they've been so busy with the flu, they haven't even been able to track the number of patients that have tested positive.
When we checked with the CDC, the latest report showed 51 out 54 states and territories are experiencing elevated levels of flu and flu-like illnesses. There have been more than 31,000 confirmed cases of influenza this season. The virus has been associated with 15 pediatric deaths- seven of those reported in the week ending on January 28th.
The vast majority of flu cases this season, over 87% have been caused by Influenza-A and the virus is still spreading.
Typically, the U.S. flu season begins in October, peaks between December and March, then slows through spring. Symptoms include a fever or chills, headache, soreness and a feeling of lethargy or fatigue.
Health officials say it's not too late to get the flu vaccine- and that vaccination is important not only for self-protection, but to keep others from contracting the virus as well.