We are in the middle of the flu season and millions of people have already taken the virus.
The influenza has sickened from 6 to 7 million Americans since October, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Although health officials closely follow the influence each year, this is the first time the CDC has provided estimates of the number of influenza illnesses in the middle of the flu season, the agency said in a statement. statement issued today (11 January). Typically, the CDC waits until the end of the flu season before calculating estimates.
The new data also show that, since October, it is estimated that 2.9 million to 3.5 million people have gone to the doctor because of the flu and 69,000 to 84,000 people have been hospitalized due to of the disease.
Estimates are based on the confirmed influenza hospitalization rates obtained from a surveillance network that covers about 8.5% of the US population, or about 27 million people, the CDC said.
Estimates will be updated throughout the flu season.
The number of influenza diseases and hospitalizations can vary widely each year depending on many factors, including the types of circulating viruses, how much at the beginning of the season begins, how well the influenza vaccine works to prevent the disease and how many people are vaccinated. Since 201
The CDC recommends the flu vaccine for everyone aged 6 months and over for prevent the flu.
Originally published on  Live Science .