Although flu activity fell during the first two weeks of January, the CDC says there’s been an increase of cases over the last two weeks.
Overall, hospitalization rates remain similar to this time last year, but rates among children and young adults are higher than in recent seasons.
“The reason why we take the flu so seriously is it can cause mild illness, but it also could cause severe illness — it could also lead to death,” explained KYW Newsradio medical editor Dr. Brian McDonough.
Symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, a runny or stuffy nose, headaches, and an overwhelming sense of fatigue.
“Certainly there are viral infections which cause some of these symptoms, but when you get this whole constellation, it's the flu,” he said, “and you should see your doctor and get tested because we do have treatments that are available.”
The CDC estimates there have been at least 19 million flu illnesses, 180,000 hospitalizations and 10,000 deaths from the flu this season.
McDonough added it’s not too late to get a flu shot this season.