Cold or flu? Here’s where to track CDC outbreak data for 2018-2019

Last year’s flu season was especially awful for vulnerable populations,
including children. According to the CDC, some 183 flu-related pediatric
deaths were reported for 2017-2018, almost double the number of deaths
during the same period two years earlier. The agency said activity began
to increase in November, peaked in January and February, and remained
high even in March.

Sadly, this season is already off to a tragic start, as the CDC reported
today that the flu has already claimed its first pediatric death. The
death was reported as part of the agency’s weekly surveillance report,
which resumed its tracking of flu activity last week after its usual
summer break.

To help people keep track of outbreaks in their area, the CDC publishes
new information—and a number of interactive maps—on its weekly
surveillance reports.

The good news, at the moment, is that flu activity remains low
throughout the country—with local activity reported in North Dakota and
Massachusetts, and only sporadic activity elsewhere. But the CDC warns
that the flu season is upon us. Vaccinations remain the best way to
prevent the flu, and the CDC is recommending that you do that before the
end of this month.

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