The CDC's weekly flu tracker notes a wider geographic spread of the illness across the US compared with this time of year in years past. Popular Science also reports, based on baseline numbers, flu season kicked off during Thanksgiving week, a few weeks ahead of the past two flu seasons.
Per Today, the CDC's numbers also indicate four states are reporting widespread influenza activity (no states reported such in 2016 at this time). And news from Australia, which is hit with its flu season months before ours (serving as a gauge of sorts for what we may expect), isn't promising, with a record number of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. As it can take weeks for the flu shot to kick in, this all underscores the importance of people getting their shots ASAP, experts say.