The U.S. experiences "flu season" peaks between December and February, but the disease typically lasts from October through May, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
‘It is very important of get vaccinated for flu, especially to protect the young, old and those with medical conditions.’
According to experts, the worst of the influenza season is not even here yet. Officials with the Centers for Disease Control say doctors are seeing a sharp rise in "flu-like symptoms" reported in hospitals in just the last week.
Centegra Health System's chief medical information officer and infectious disease specialist Irfan Hafiz said it is difficult to predict how flu seasons might play out. "Wisconsin and Missouri already had widespread diseases as of last week," Hafiz said Thursday. "For us, it's been less widespread."
This year's vaccine has proven to only be 10 percent effective against this year's strain. Experts say the viruses are unpredictable and sometimes the structure of the vaccine just doesn't match the strain of influenza.
Aside from the vaccine, it always is a good idea to wash hands frequently, cover coughs and stay away from anyone who might be sick during flu season. The CDC estimated that the flu has resulted in between 9.2 million and 35.6 million illnesses each year in the U.S. since 2010.