United States flu season appears milder, one year after brutal one

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In recent years, flu-related deaths have ranged from about 12,000 to 56,000, according to the CDC.

In most parts of the country, most illnesses right now are being caused by a flu strain that leads to fewer hospitalizations and deaths as the kind of flu that dominated a year ago, according to officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

-About 6 million to 7 million Americans have become ill since flu season kicked off in the fall.

The Arkansas Department of Health said Tuesday that a total of 11 people have died due to influenza.

Though the flu is now widespread in about half of states, the 2018-2019 season got off to a relatively mild start, at least compared to the severe 2017-2018 season.

Six pediatric deaths occurred so far this season, all children under the age of 10.

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"If (this strain) continues to be the predominant virus, that is what we'd expect", Fry said.

A 3-year-old girl died of the flu in suburban Chicago on December 22, marking the state's first pediatric flu death of the season. Flu usually takes off after Christmas and peaks around February.

Flu symptoms can include fever or chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headache and tiredness.

Public health experts say flu vaccines are the best way to prevent the flu.

Amy Lieu is a news editor and reporter for Fox News.

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