Experts: Flu season could get worse before it gets betterPosted: Updated:
Health officials are warning people Friday that the unpredictable flu season may not have reached its peak yet.
"We could potentially see several more weeks of increased flu activity," says Anne Schuchat, the acting director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
This week alone there have been an additional 10 pediatric deaths, bringing the total number of children killed by the flu to 63.
The CDC reports that hospitalizations have also increased over the past five weeks. Officials say it's the highest rate of hospitalization for this point of the season in recent flu outbreaks. They say 48 states and Puerto Rico have been impacted.
"Right now we see influenza activity in almost all of the states, which is really pretty unusual for us," says Dr. Alicia Fry, who is chief of the Epidemiology and Prevention Branch, Influenza Division.
Experts say to watch for critical symptoms including persistent high fever, difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, rapid heartbeat and extreme tiredness.
CDC officials urge everyone to get a flu shot and take other precautions such as washing hands.