The flu has arrived significantly earlier this year, causing more hospitalizations at this point in the season than in the past decade, according to the latest data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The southeast and south-central areas of the country reported the highest levels of flu activity, according to the CDC.
The agency estimates that, so far this season, there have been at least 880,000 flu illnesses, 6,900 hospitalizations, and 360 deaths from flu nationwide.
The first flu-related pediatric death of the season was reported in the week ending Oct. 22, according to the CDC.
The CDC recommends that everyone ages 6 months and older get a flu vaccine annually.
"Vaccination helps prevent infection and can also prevent serious outcomes in people who get vaccinated but still get sick with flu," said the agency.