This week's flu stats are particularly sobering when it comes to pediatric deaths. Grey said flu season hits hardest in February, but this year she's seen it begin to rise in January. However, those are only cases confirmed by a lab.
The peak of flu season is typically in February.
This all serves as a reminder, Jernigan says, that while most people recover from flu after a few days, it can also lead to severe illness and death in others.
The strain of influenza that is spreading the most is called H3N2.
"The flu shot that covers for influenza A is only about 20-30% effective this year", said Dr. Spire.
"If you're at high risk or have symptoms such as difficulty breathing, chest pain, dizziness, confusion, persistent vomiting, can not drink fluids, or have flu-like symptoms that improve but then return with fever or worse cough, seek emergency medical care immediately", Dr. Christ said.
"It's not too late yet to get a flu shot", said IDPH Medical Director and State Epidemiologist, Dr. Patricia Quinlisk.
Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, although this is more common in children than adults.
Houston ISD said nurses have reported 421 cases of students with flu-like illness.
Sentara family medicine and internal medicine practices have the vaccines for $75 out of pocket, but individuals without insurance can get the shot for $37.50, according to Sentara spokeswoman Kelsea Smith.
Local health care professionals are seeing a marked increase in the number of people visiting the emergency room for the flu or flu-like symptoms.
The Flu Express also recommends members of the public to get the influenza vaccines provided under the Government Vaccination Programme.
You may have heard that the flu that's doing the most damage this year is an H3N2 strain, and that it is less vulnerable to the vaccine.
"That's about a month earlier than it normally would be peaking", he said, "so lots of cases [are] happening, in lots of states, all at the same time". If you start on anti-viral medications within a day or two of when your symptoms start, your risk of serious disease, hospitalization and even death can be significantly reduced.
If you get the flu, stay home and rest so you don't spread it to other people. Those in most danger of flu complications, according to the CDC, include the chronically ill, pregnant women or women who have just given birth and native Americans.