close-up shot of sick young family blowing noses with napkins together while lying in bed

The 2019-2020 flu season is continuing its fast start, as the number of states either reporting regional or widespread flu activity increased by eight in just one week.

The Centers For Disease Control And Prevention (CDC) releases a weekly update on how the flu is impacting the United States. Its most recent update gathered reports of flu activity from each state through Dec. 7 and showed that 38 states have either widespread or regional flu activity — the two heaviest forms of flu activity designations the CDC provides.

Strong flu activity is rampant among the lower 48 states, with each region sporting a state with widespread activity. With the exception of Florida, the entire southeast is showing widespread flu activity, while the west coast, east coast and southern United States are also very active.

The CDC grades the presence of influenza-like illness (ILI) activity in each state by a more specific scale separated into four sections: high, moderate, low and minimal. Each of the four sections have two to three different forms of ILI activity levels within them. In total, the scale has 10 different grades for ILI activity. The states classified as demonstrating the highest possible level of ILI are Washington, Nebraska, Texas, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina and Georgia.

One of the key findings in the CDC’s latest weekly report is that the influenza B strain is the cause of most of the flu or flu-like activity. The CDC says it’s unusual that influenza B is this present this time of year.

The CDC’s data also shows that an estimated 1,300 death have been caused by the flu this season. 

For more on the CDC's latest flu report, click here.