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The most recent numbers for Iowa show 78 new cases of the flu confirmed by the State Hygienic Laboratory and six new outbreaks in long-term care facilities. If you end up getting it, DO take it within the 24 to 48 hours.

The flu was first observed in Europe, the United States and parts of Asia before it quickly spread throughout the world.

From Dec. 31 to January 6, the Arizona Department of Health Services received 2,455 reports of flu.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports the flu is now widespread in 46 states, almost four times as many compared with this time past year.

A strain dubbed "Japanese Flu" which is known to particularly affect children has been reported in the UK. The week ending December 30, 2017, saw 142 confirmed flu cases, an increase of 48 percent over the previous week.

Many of these patients are here because of the flu.

Parkland Hospital in Dallas has seen nearly 1,000 people coming to their emergency department seeking treatment. Normally, they hope for a 40-60 percent effectiveness. You could have Type-A flu early in the season and then get Type-B later.

"It still helps", Berg said.

The outbreaks has prompted hospitals to limit visits by children to keep the virus from spreading within their walls.

Further compounding the issue is this year's flu shot.

The free flu vaccine is available to those who are aged 65 or older, have an underlying health condition or weakened immune system, are pregnant or who are a main carer for an older or disabled person. "And so because of those things, we can see a lot of influenza that gets transmitted".

"The efficacy of the flu vaccine can only be determined at the end of a season", said Haggie.

Along with vaccination, health officials remind Minnesotans to prevent the spread of flu and other illnesses by covering coughs and sneezes, staying home when feeling ill and washing hands often. "With news of rising flu activity, people have been seeking out protection against the potentially deadly virus". Medicine such as Tamiflu are most effective in that time period and can provide a critical boost to recovery for vulnerable groups.

Flu symptoms are the same regardless of what strain you have but H3N2 cases have been reported as more severe in recent years.