LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Considered to be widespread in every U.S. state except Hawaii, the flu has now reached epidemic levels according to the Centers for Disease Control.
The dominating strain this year, also known as H3N2, has already killed 42 people in California under the age of 65, compared to nine at this time last year.
According to doctors, the H3N2 strain tends to cause more severe illness, hospitalizations and deaths, particularly in children and older adults.
More than 60,000 cases of the flu have been reported nationwide, with California being one of the hardest hit states.
Doctors say the flu season started in early November and is most likely peaking now. However, the CDC says people can expect the season to last for about three more months.
Although vaccine effectiveness could be in the 30 percent range this season, which is lower than past seasons, the CDC is urging anyone who hasn’t been vaccinated for the flu to get the shot now.