Flu season takes off quickly in Deep South states

National News

FILE – In this Feb. 7, 2018 file photo, a nurse prepares a flu shot at the Salvation Army in Atlanta. The flu forecast is cloudy and it’s too soon to know if the U.S. is in for a third miserable season in a row, but health officials said Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019 not to delay vaccination. (AP Photo/David Goldman, File)

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The flu season is off and running in the Deep South.

The most recent weekly flu report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds high levels of flu-like illness in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Nevada, South Carolina and Texas. The highest level in that report for the week ended Nov. 16 was in Mississippi.

Doctors in Mississippi say they’re already seeing lots of patients. Dr. Darren Scoggin of Children’s Medical Group in Jackson tells WLBT-TV that travel and family gatherings can help contribute to the flu’s spread.

Most states, including North Dakota, are reporting localized flu cases — no widespread outbreaks.

CDC officials say it’s not too late to get vaccinated. They say the flu vaccine is the best way to prevent flu and its complications.

So far in the 2019-2020 flu season, CDC has reported four flu-associated deaths among children.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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