Flu season is underway: At least seven states are reporting high rates of flu infection, and case rates are climbing across the country.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported doctors' visits for respiratory issues, positive flu lab tests and influenza hospitalizations were all trending upward this week.
The CDC said the South Central, Southeast, and West Coast regions were seeing the biggest spikes in flu activity so far.
The CDC tracked very high flu activity last week in Louisiana, and high activity in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, New Mexico and South Carolina. Activity was also high in the District of Columbia and in Puerto Rico, where officials declared an influenza epidemic earlier this month.
The CDC showed moderate but rising activity in New York City, Arkansas, California, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.
The agency estimates the flu has caused at least 780,000 illnesses so far this season, including 8,000 hospitalizations and 490 deaths.
The CDC urges everyone over the age of 6 years old to get a flu shot. The agency says about 35% of U.S. adults and 33% of children got their shots so far this year, which is a lower rate of vaccination than last year.
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