About 60 hospitalizations for flu-like illnesses per 100,000 people were reported in the latest numbers, according to the CDC.
This flu season, hospitalization rates have surpassed those in the winter of 2014 to 2015, when the vaccine was a poor match to the main bug. Those with symptoms, but who normally are healthy, are encouraged to stay home until they feel better. The vast majority of deaths have been in adults over age 65.
"I can not stress enough the importance of getting the flu vaccine, exercising good hand hygiene, and staying home when sick", said State Epidemiologist Dr. Linda Bell in the release.
Though cases along the northern border near Canada and a bit along the West Coast show some signs of easing, there are "likely many more weeks to go", CDC spokeswoman Kristen Nordlund said.
Meanwhile, the Healthcare Association of Hawaii says flu hospitalizations in Hawaii are up significantly this year.
"Because of the ongoing intensity of the flu season and the increase in influenza B and H1N1 strains we do continue to recommend the vaccine, despite it being this late in the season", she added.
It's not time to panic about a new pandemic - it is simply a relatively severe flu season, one that's unusual in that it is hitting the whole country at once instead of in waves, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.
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The Jamestown area also reported the flu earlier than normal. "The entire nation was showing widespread flu activity".
"We saw a big demand from students this season from", LPN Nina Barker said. "It's one of the reasons we say even if you've already had flu this season, it makes sense to get vaccinated because it could protect you against the other strains", Schuchat said. OR and Hawaii, the exceptions, both recorded regional activity for the fifth week of the year.
The city Health Department confirmed the death, but refused to provide any other details. She said there have been two confirmed flu deaths this season, neither of which were children, and 438 Alaskans who have tested positive for the flu.
This season is now as bad as the swine flu epidemic nine years ago.
In all, 354 people had to be hospitalized within the last week due to the flu virus, bringing the total number of hospitalizations to 2,646. Overall, there are estimated to be as many as 56,000 deaths linked to the flu during a bad year.
Schuchat also said that the number of hospitalizations was the highest the center has ever encountered.