If you haven't been hit with the flu yet, get ready, it is here and chances are, even if you got the flu shot,  you will come down with something that resembles the flu. According to the CDC, Louisiana and Virginia were the first two states to be hit with the flu. It has gotten so bad that last week 16 states were showing high levels of the flu that required hospitalization, compared to this week where that number has climbed to 29. So far, 41 states have reported flu cases.

Google Flu Map from www.flunearyou.com

What is odd about this flu is that it is about 5 weeks ahead of schedule and that means a lot of people have not been immunized. At this point, 3/4 of the people who have contracted this flu had not received the flu shot.

According to The UK Daily Mail:

[John] Brownstein's [Harvard Medical School and Children’s Hospital Boston] data shows cough is this year's most frequently reported symptom at 19 per cent, ahead of sore throat at 16 per cent, fatigue at 15 per cent, headache at 14 per cent, body ache at 10 per cent, and fever at 7 per cent.

So how do you know that you could be getting this particular strain of the flu? Here are the season's most-reported symptoms:

  1. Cough - 19 per cent
  2. Sore throat - 16 per cent
  3. Fatigue - 15 per cent
  4. Headache - 14 per cent
  5. Body Ache - 10 per cent
  6. Fever - 7 per cent.

(data from Flu Near You)

(Steve's Note) Let me tell you, this flu is nothing to mess with. My son came home from school sick and within two hours. I was coming down with the same symptoms within an hour of seeing the two of them.  It came and went within a day and a half, but with a 7 month old baby, we had to make sure we were careful to not expose her too much and to watch her for symptoms (which never arrived, thankfully). Here is the kicker, my wife, son and I have all gotten the flu shot, which was supposed to ward off the H3N2 strain, which is dominant this year, and supposedly can cause more serious illnesses. 

Regardless, do makes sure you get the Flu Shot. Even if you come down with this strain of the flu, you at least made an effort to keep the flu away.