A flu shot can still do you good

WASHINGTON – Flu season may be peaking – or starting to.

The disease “really has reached virtually the entire component of the United States,” according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Virginia is one of 20 states experiencing high levels of flu activity, according to the latest numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Maryland has had minimal flu activity, and there is not enough data to draw a conclusion for the District.

Fauci says that although predicting the course of a flu season is difficult, “there’s nothing really very unusual about the pattern we’re seeing now.”

“You usually start to see, in a typical flu season, peaking around January or February,” he says. This year, “we saw the uptick in the beginning of December.”

According to Google, which tracks flu trends, activity is high nationwide, but still much lower than it was at this time last year. The situation is the same in Maryland, Virginia, and D.C.

Even though flu season could be in the process of peaking, Fauci says it is not too late to get a flu shot.

“Anyone older than six months old should be vaccinated,” he says, adding that a vaccine finder on flu.gov further simplifies the process. “Click on the computer, put in your zip code, and you can find out where flu vaccine is available. It’s really easy to do.”

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