Every county in the state has significant incidence of the flu. It reflects the worst nationwide outbreak in four years. The federal Centers for Disease Control said 47 states are reporting widespread outbreaks, and the flu season is earlier and busier than in recent years.
Despite the early start, health officials say it's not too late to get a flu shot. The vaccine is considered a good — though not perfect — protection against getting really sick from the flu.
The CDC suggested that flu season will peak early. It usually peaks in midwinter and lasts through March.
Flu symptoms can include fever, cough, runny nose, head and body aches and fatigue. Some people also suffer vomiting and diarrhea, and some develop pneumonia or other severe complications.
Most people with flu have a mild illness. But people with severe symptoms need to see a doctor. They may be given antiviral drugs or other medications to ease symptoms.
The flu's early arrival coincided with spikes in flu-like illnesses caused by other bugs, including a new norovirus that causes vomiting and diarrhea, or what is commonly known as "stomach flu." Those illnesses likely are part of the heavy traffic in hospital and clinic waiting rooms, CDC officials said.