Flu season is off to a surprisingly strong start, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Flu activity increased significantly the week of Thanksgiving, according to the most-recent data available.
Visits to doctors for flu-like symptoms were above normal in five U.S. regions, and doctors across the country have not seen so many patients for flu this early in the season since 2004.
Alaska, Mississippi, New York and South Carolina are reporting widespread flu. Every state is reporting some type of flu activity except Vermont.
Doctors say anyone who has not gotten a flu shot should do so as soon as possible.
- Regional influenza activity was reported by 7 states (Alabama, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, North Carolina, and Ohio).
- Local influenza activity was reported by 19 states (Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming).
- Sporadic influenza activity was reported by the District of Columbia, and 18 states (Arizona, California, Florida, Hawaii, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Washington, and West Virginia).
- No influenza activity was reported by Guam and 1 state (Vermont).
- Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and 1 state (Delaware) did not report.