This year's flu season is only halfway over -- and it's already been the busiest one for hospitals since at least 2009.
Flu isn't just a "Houston problem" or a "Texas problem." It's a national concern.
The Centers for Disease Control had expected flu to peak two weeks ago. Instead, cases are rising -- following a deadly trend that just concluded in Australia.
Flu is now categorized as "widespread," which is the worst classification, across the entire continental United States. That's never happened before.
For some context, even a mild flu season will kill about 12,000 Americans -- but a severe flu season, like the one we have now, will usually kill about 56,000 people.
There's a danger to children. An average flu season has at least 37 pediatric deaths. With four months still left to go in the current flu season, 30 American children have already died.
Complicating matters, there’s even a nationwide shortage of the saline IV bags that are used to treat people at the hospital. It's because most of those bags are manufactured in Puerto Rico -- where production stopped because of the hurricane that devastated much of the island.
Health officials continue to say: get a flu shot -- even though it's late, and even though it won't spare you from all strains.
Getting vaccinated now can reduce your risk of these other infections even if it won’t necessarily prevent the H3N2 strain that’s currently sending people to clinics and hospitals.
This year, more than 90 percent of flu cases involve the H3N2 strain.