Historic flu is now worst in decades:10 more children dead

Worsening Flu Season Has Many Afraid, Grieving

Simple ways to help keep you, your kids from getting the flu

The flu has further tightened its grip on the U.S. This season is now as bad as the swine flu epidemic nine years ago.

"We may be on track to break some recent records", Dr. Anne Schuchat added while releasing the latest data.

This flu season isn't slowing down. Circulating flu strains this season are a mix of H3N2, H1N1 and B viruses.

The H3N2 is especially prevalent among children, according to Dr Schuchat.

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Caused by viruses, flu is a contagious respiratory illness with mild to severe symptoms that can sometimes lead to death.

'The hospitalization rate is approaching the final rate that we observed at the end of the active 2014 flu season, ' Dr Schuchat said.

Parts of the west coast have been seeing a decline and last week Dr Dan Jernigan, director of the CDC's Influenza Division, said the he hopes it represent a trend of decreasing activity.

The CDC does not count the number of adult deaths, however Dr Jernigan previously said that he expects the number of pediatric deaths to be similar as the 2014 season that killed 148 children. "It's a little too early to say we're out of the woods or to say that flu is abating".

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While most flu-seasons last about 16 weeks, some have gone as long as 20 weeks.

Experts still recommend getting the flu vaccine to reduce the chances of hospitalization or death due to the virus. During an intense season like this one, it is possible to get an infection with both A-strain viruses and B-strain viruses at the same time, and people definitely get sick twice from the flu, with first one strain and then another, she said. Based on a recent Canadian report, the effectiveness against B strain viruses is estimated to be about 55%.

There are two B viruses prevalent in the U.S. this season: Yamagata, known as the "Japanese flu" and the Victoria.

"It's not uncommon for B strains to increase later in the season", Schuchat said.

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It would make sense to see "a lot" of influenza deaths in the coming weeks, Schuchat said, based on the fact that many people are in the hospital.

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