For the first time ever, Google's Flu Trends is reporting an intense level of national flu activity.
Unfortunately, since Google has "found a close relationship between how many people search for flu-related topics and how many people actually have flu symptoms," this might predict a continued increase in the number of people sick with the flu this week.
And that wouldn't be at all surprising, especially since we are continuing to see increases in flu activity in the latest flu activity reports from the CDC, with:
- 31 states reporting widespread geographic flu activity (up from 29 states last week)
- 14 states reporting regional flu activity (up from 12 states last week)
- only 5 states reporting either local or sporadic flu activity (down from 8 states last week)- the lowest levels (Delaware, Oregon, Vermont, California and Hawaii)
- 8 new pediatric flu deaths, bringing the total to 16 pediatric flu deaths for the 2012-13 flu season
Is your family protected from the flu? Flu season isn't over and likely hasn't even reached its peak yet. Will we see another big jump in flu cases as kids go back to school after the holidays? Will holiday travel spread the flu even more, or will the time out of school give kids some time to recover and actually keep them from getting others sick?
Since it is impossible to predict what will happen next, get your family protected from the flu with a flu vaccine so that they can be protected for the rest of the flu season, which might run through April or May.