"These viruses are often linked to more severe illness, especially among children and people age 65 and over", Fitzgerald said.
At the peak of the 2014-15 season, one of the two most severe seasons in the last 15 years or so, 29.9 people out of every 100,000 were hospitalized for flu. Health officials said one strain, Influenza A H3N2, is why flu season seems more severe this year.
Public health officials continued to press the public to get flu shots, saying it wasn't too late, and that the vaccine offered ideal protection against three of the four strains.
"We have quickly replenished our supply chain and Flu vaccinations are available at Boots Pharmacies across the country, with more stock going into stores daily".
Earlier this week, the Ohio Department of Health reported the first two pediatric flu deaths in the state: a 4-year-old from Montgomery County and an 18-month-old from Lucas County. But the number of flu-related hospitalizations, especially among those 65 and older, has been increasing steadily since flu season began in October, according to a January 4 report from the NMDOH.
Australia was hit with an unusually bad flu season, with far more illnesses and deaths than average.
The release says the predominant strain of flu in the state is Influenza A (H3N2).
"Signs to look out for are fever, body aches, it comes on pretty quickly and then you had headache and runny nose", said Andrew Zurcher, nurse practitioner at CHI Health's Quick Care on 50th and O streets. Although, they said, the number of influenza cases surpassed the epidemic point in November. "People get confused with saying that's influenza. It's not too late".
That being said, the flu shot also protects against H1N1 and influenza B, which are circulating this year and tend to have a higher vaccine effectiveness than H3N2, Brammer says.
"We're seeing a tremendous number of patients and we have not seen it slow down yet", said Dr. John Goldman.
It's also important to take other actions to stay healthy such as covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze, clean your hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer or keep your germs contained by staying home when sick.
The flu in Georgia is spreading quickly, with hospitals reporting an increase of flu-related cases in recent weeks.