We all know that the flu season this year has been out of control. But with the weather fluctuations and the work stress, it’s hard to tell if people (maybe even you) are still sick because of the wear and tear of daily life or residual effects of the flu. So, is the flu over?
Maybe you got lucky. Maybe you didn’t get the flu vaccine this year, but managed to escape the winter without a cough or fever — but are you in the clear? After all, the end of flu season can be anywhere from March to May according to the CDC.
So, is the flu over?
Not quite, the CDC cautions. Although the organization does note that they’re finally seeing signs that the flu is slowing down, so we’re getting close to the end of flu season 2017-2018.
Although the number of cases of the flu dropped last week, according to the CDC’s weekly influenza report, the activity of influenza-like illness was still considered moderate or high in 25 states. Even though we’re trending in the right direction, we’re not quite out of the woods CDC spokeswoman Kristen Nordlund cautioned. Talking to CNN about the data from the last few weeks, she said, "we're still continuing to see a decline in influenza-like activity. Even though It looks like all signs point to decreasing influenza activity, we're still in what we normally think of as flu season."
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Can you still get the flu?
Since the answer to is the flu over is "not quite yet," it's still possible to come down with the illness even if it’s less likely in some regions than others. "We're certainly seeing less states with high influenza-like illness activity, and it seems like things are easing up a little bit on the East Coast and in the Midwest," Nordlund explained. "There's a cluster of states in the South having high activity."
The number of people seeking out their doctor about flu-like symptoms last week was 3.3%, still well above the expected level of 2.2%. That’s a drop of only 0.4% from the previous week. What does that mean for you? Nordlund put it simply: "If people aren't feeling well and think they might have flu, there's still a chance they could have it."
And, no, it’s not too late to get the flu shot if you haven’t already. When is the cut-off? Nordlund says that it’s still a good time to get the vaccine (if you haven’t already) “as along as flu is circulating.”