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“Does climate play a role in terms of temperature and humidity? I think those do play a factor in how influenza circulates in the northern hemisphere but I don think we have a great explanation why it was so early this year,” Prabhu added.

According to the CDC, during the last week of December, 46 states reported widespread flu activity, which was up from 36 the week before. To put that into perspective, at this time last year, only 12 states reported widespread flu activity.

“I think the strains that are circulating this year can cause significant health issues,” said Prabhu.”Still, the H3N2 strain or Influenza A is predominantly circulating strain and that particular strain actually causes more severe illness.”

However, there are ways to stay protected.

One of the best ways to prevent the flu besides getting the flu shot is practicing good hand hygiene. If you don have soap and water, hand sanitizer is a good option.

Prabhu says a flu shot is always recommended.

“It takes about one to two weeks to take effect,” said Prabhu.

Another important step is paying attention to the symptoms so you don spread it to others.

“Flu can also have very minor symptoms so you may not get as sick as other people but you can still transmit it,” said Prahbu.”It kind of a silent spreader.”

Other simple prevention methods are cleaning your hands and other frequently touched surfaces at home, work and school and avoiding close contact with sick people.
ugg lace up boots Flu Season Shaping up to be a Severe One