The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) observed a recent nationwide spike in influenza cases, with a notable increase in southeastern states. Officials reported a 2.7 percent rise in recorded H1N1 influenza cases nationwide over a three-week period according to CDC study published in late December. In addition, authorities warned of a rise in H3N2 virus cases in the states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, and Tennessee.
Influenza is a contagious virus that can spread from human to human. Symptoms include high fever, aching muscles, headache, and respiratory issues. Particularly vulnerable individuals include young children, the elderly, pregnant women, the obese, and individuals suffering from chronic diseases. An annual vaccine is available.
Individuals are advised to take preventive measures to minimize the risk of contracting or spreading the disease (e.g. wash hands thoroughly and frequently, avoid contact with sick individuals, etc.) and consult a medical professional regarding vaccination options.
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