The flu season is expected earlier in the U.S.

The flu season is expected to begin earlier this year in the U.S. due to a strain of the virus not typically seen during this time of year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC estimates some 1.7 million people have been infected with flu illnesses so far, and 900 have died. Dave Osthus, a statistician in flu forecasting at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, said the early start could indicate that a lot of people will be sick at the same time.  The influenza B/Victoria viruses is unusual this early in the season. It "classically" happens in February or March. The virus has largely hit the Southern United States (in Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas, among five other states and Puerto Rico).

Influenza map - November 30

On an average year, 125-200 people a day die of the flu. 18 flu-related deaths were recorded 1n 2019 in California since September. Two children are among those who have died.Vaccination is again possible and it is the hope. Flu shots are recommended for anyone six months and older. But it is important to know that it takes a couple weeks for someone’s body to build up immunity after getting a flu shot. Last year marked the longest flu season in a decade.