However, the Boston Children's Hospital's Computational Health Informatics Program (CHIP) has found a way to estimate the flu activity by using machine learning and forecasting methods together. This suggests that ARGONet produces the most accurate estimates of influenza activity available to date, a week ahead of traditional healthcare-based reports, at the state level across the U.S. The organization estimates that flu has resulted in between 9.2 million and 35.6 million illnesses each year in the United States and several deaths.
High levels of the flu were also reported in Mississippi, Georgia and SC, among other states. "Some people, such as older adults, young children, pregnant women, nursing home residents, and people with asthma, lung disease, heart disease, diabetes, or obesity, are more likely to develop flu-related complications". About 60 million Americans came down with flu, as many as 400,000 were hospitalized, and up to 18,000 died, the CDC reported.
Simone Groper receives a flu shot at a Walgreens phramacy on January 22, 2018 in San Francisco, California.
The CDC recommends that people get a flu vaccine by the end of October, though there is still time to get vaccinated.
An estimated 6 million to 7 million people have had the flu so far this season.
"We're seeing quite a number of upper respiratory infections which are also viral in nature", said Dr. Alex Roby, medical director at Red River ER in Sherman.
In North Carolina, state health officials said six people died from the flu last week, raising the death toll for the season to 16.
At a congressional hearing on flu preparedness in March, Fauci emphasized the need for a universal flu vaccine and the difficulty in creating one.
One death was associated with an influenza A (H3) virus, one death was associated with an influenza A (H1N1) pdm09 virus and one death was associated with an influenza A virus for which no subtyping was performed.
There's even a possibility it might not work.
"We know the vaccine reduces outpatient visits, hospitalizations, ICU admissions and can be lifesaving in children", Fry said.
Smaller provinces do keep count, although official numbers typically only capture a subset of flu cases.