The latest data released Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveal that 6.2 to 7.3 million people were killed. sick of the flu since October, but it 's still a season more lenient than last year, according to USA Today.

At least half of these people have sought medical attention to treat their flu symptoms, between 69,000 and 84,000 people having been hospitalized from October to January 5, according to the CDC.

Friday's data is the first time the CDC has provided estimates for the 2018-2019 influenza season, which are extrapolated from data from 27 million people, or about 8.5% of the US population.

Although the cases are less severe than last season, the CDC's "influenza-like illness rate" was raised to 4.1% last week, nearly twice the national baseline.

Dr. Alicia Fry, head of the epidemiology and prevention branch of the CDC's Influenza Division, said, "If (this strain) continues to be the predominant virus, that's what we expected."

Influenza epidemics have also been widespread in more than 30 states, including California, Florida and New York. although last year, it was widespread in almost all states during the same period.

The CDC has not released any data on the total number of deaths so far this season, it only indicated how 16 pediatric deaths associated with influenza had been reported this year in the past. federal agency.

However, state organizations and officials have begun to announce deaths related to influenza, including the Oklahoma State Department of Health, which has attributed 13 deaths to the flu since September.

The New Jersey Department of Health confirmed that one child had died of the flu last week, the first death of the season for the state.

The flu season lasts from October to late May, with an acceleration of activity between December and February, according to the CDC.

The agency recommends getting vaccinated early before the start of the influenza season, but adds that being vaccinated late in the season can still help alleviate some of the most serious complications of influenza.

It is estimated that 37% of US adults were vaccinated in the last influenza season, a decrease of almost six percentage points, but current estimates indicate that almost 44.9% of adults were vaccinated for the influenza season In progress.

The CDC stated that anyone with flu-like symptoms should stay home at least 24 hours after the onset of fever, in addition to receiving medical attention and other necessities.

The CDC estimated that the flu had killed more than 80,000 people and caused more than 900,000 hospitalizations last year.

WN.comMaureen Foody