Ten states are dealing with widespread influenza outbreaks, and there are indicators that the nation is in for a severe flu season, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. In Colorado, more than 6,300 people have come down with the flu, including five children who died, with the flu season still weeks from peaking. Surveillance data show people are getting sick earlier in the year than usual and a greater proportion of specimens across the country are testing positive for influenza type A, the CDC said. The combination historically has been associated with more severe flu seasons and higher numbers of influenza-related hospitalizations and deaths. The CDC is recommending vaccinations for healthcare workers in outpatient facilities, nursing homes and other residential long-term care facilities and for home-care providers treating persons at high risk. People with respiratory illness symptoms should be discouraged from visiting patients in the hospital and healthcare workers who are ill should be restricted from working until they are healthy, the CDC said. -- by Julie Piotrowski
Early signs point to severe flu season, CDC says
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