Widespread flu activity has been reported in MA since the end of November, while New Hampshire's flu activity did not reach a similar level until the first week of January, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
The first group of people who are required to get their flu vaccination are the lucky ones; they are reminded on a consistent basis to get their shot and most employers who require it also provide it on-site.
In Rhode Island, 24 people have died of flu-related illness so far this flu season. WBZ reported that an official from Haverhill confirmed to them that a 6-year-old girl died after getting diagnosed with influenza.
People with underlying health conditions who are between the ages of 2 and 64 should consult their doctor about which vaccines they should receive and when.
There's no magic number for calling off schools due to sickness, but in Cumberland County, most students have been making it to school despite elevated flu activity in the state. "Fairly minor differences in genetic changes can lead to really meaningful differences in how much protection the vaccine is providing". Kemi Mugangala, a digital media production major at Drake, is not going to get a flu shot this year.
Several aspects have contributed to making this a particularly hard flu season.
"It doesn't hit home until something like this happens", said Haverhill Mayor James Fiorentini. Instead, it was up. According to the CDC the benefits, on the other hand, include a substantially reduced risk of catching the flu as well as reducing the severity of the flu if you contract it, which is especially important this season given the nationwide Tamiflu shortage. "We look at it all kinds of ways and different survey systems", she said.
In Lawrence, however, spokesman Christopher Markuns said the public school district is dealing with an uptick in absences. The number of influenza cases in DE is continuing to rise.
The flu is highly contagious, with individuals able to infect others one day before they show any symptoms themselves, and remains contagious five to seven days after becoming sick.
"We have both of mix of influenza A and B at the same time".
For the week ending on February 3, the proportion of people nationwide seeing their healthcare provider for influenza-like illness was 7.7 percent.
But the early indications help to explain why so many people have fallen ill with the flu in a season that has swamped hospitals across the country and appears on track to set records for hospitalization rates.
Stephen Morse, PhD, director of the Infectious Disease Epidemiology Certificate Program of Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health in New York City, told MedPage Today that the only surprising thing about this data was how unsurprising it was.
Similar data is not available in MA, according to that state's health department.
Ultimately, scientists say the only real solution is a "universal" influenza vaccine that would not only protect against seasonal flu but also guard against a future pandemic.
"If a child is sick, they should stay home", Graham said.