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Flu season could hit working adults hardest

Monday - 1/6/2014, 7:58am  ET

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Flu cases are considered widespread in Virginia so far this flu season but only a few regions of Maryland are reporting flu cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The types of flu that are circulating are more likely to sicken adults. (CDC)

WASHINGTON - Flu season is moving into high gear, both here and around the nation.

The latest weekly tracking from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the week ending Dec. 28, shows the flu is already widespread in Virginia. Maryland reported 27 confirmed flu cases and cases were sporadic D.C.

This time, the predominant strain is the H1N1 virus, and that could mean big trouble for businesses.

That's because unlike other strains, which tend to hit children and the elderly the hardest, young and middle-aged adults can get really sick from H1N1.

CNBC crunched government and privately compiled numbers and found workers lost $8.5 billion in wages during the 2012-2013 flu season.

This year could be worse because not only are workers staying home to take care of kids and parents, they are getting the flu too.

Flu vaccine remains readily available and doctors say it's not too late to get immunized. They say the vaccine is still the best defense against the influenza virus.

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