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Flu Season Arrives Early

Updated: Saturday, January 26 2013, 02:27 PM CST

Flu Season Arrives Early

According to the CDC Flu season in the U.S. is off to its earliest start in nearly a decade.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are reporting flu cases have jumped in five southern states including Texas.  Two children have already died this year and flu related hospitalizations are on the rise. 

Federal health officials say an uptick like this doesnt typically happen until after Christmas. 

Symptoms can include: fever, cough, runny nose, head and body aches and fatigue.  Some people also suffer from vomiting and diarrhea, and some develop pneumonia or other severe complications.

CDC officials say the last time a conventional flu season started this early was the winter of 2003-04, which proved to be one of the most lethal seasons in the past 35 years, with more than 48,000 deaths.  The dominant type of flu back then was the same one seen this year.

Health experts say if you havent gotten a flu shot yet, now is the time to get one.  The CDC says this years vaccination matches up well with the strains they are seeing.

To reduce your chances of getting the flu, officials say there are five simple steps you can take.

1. Get vaccinated.
2. Wash hands frequently.
3. Cover coughs and sneezes.
4. Stay home if you're sick.
5. Convince those around you to follow steps 1 - 4.

Flu Season Arrives Early

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Flu Signs and Symptoms

According to the Centers for Disease Control, the flu usually comes on suddenly. People who have the flu often feel some or all of these symptoms:


Flu Symptoms (more intense than common cold):

  • Fever 
  • Body aches
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Dry cough are more common and intense
  • Chills
  • HeadachesCommon

Cold Symptoms:  
  • Stuffy/runny nose
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Fever is rare
  • Slight body aches
  • Mild fatigue

Source: Centers for Disease Control

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