Flu season is coming early in parts of the United States: This time last year, flu cases were lower in the St. Paul area than they are now, according to data on Google's Flu Trends.
Overall in Minnesota, activity is considered "high-to-intense" now, while it was considered "moderate-to-high" at this time in 2011, according to Flu Trends.
According to this week's CDC Flu activity report, influenza levels are on the increase across the country.
Five states – Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee – are reporting flu rates not normally seen until January, according to the Centers for Disease Control. The flu season normally peaks in January and February.
Holiday travel and more time spent indoors due to soggy weather will contribute to the spread of the flu virus, so now is the time to get vaccinated.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers the following information:
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