Flu Cases Spiking In Virginia: Which Age Group Is Getting Hit Hardest?

Find out where to get vaccinated near you.

Flu cases are on the rise, but it's not too late to get vaccinated. (Photo Credit: Virginia Department of Health)
Flu cases are on the rise, but it's not too late to get vaccinated. (Photo Credit: Virginia Department of Health)
By Jane Lemons

Although flu cases in Virginia are spiking upward, they have not reached the intense levels from previous years, according to data from Google's Flu Trends.

Virginia reported its first pediatric death from the flu this week, andflu activity is widespread across the state.

"Since mid-December there has been a steady increase in visits for influenza-like illness to emergency departments and urgent care centers in all regions of the state," State Health Commissioner Cynthia C. Romero wrote in a Jan. 10 letterupdating health-care providers across the state.

She added that those "visits have increased among all age groups, but most notably among children and younger adults."

While several strains of the influenza virus have been detected, influenza A (H1N1) viruses have predominated both in Virginia and nationwide. In December, officials with the Centers for Disease control reported that young and middle-aged adults were particularly hard-hit by that strain this year.

The CDC reports that 61 percent of those hospitalized with the flu this year have been in the 18-64 age range.

Because the flu tends to strike hardest among young children and older adults, that is the age group least likely to get a flu vaccine. It's not too late to vaccinate, and health officials recommend anyone aged 6 months and older, including pregnant women, who has not gotten a flu vaccine yet this season should get one now.

Find out where to get a flu shot near you. You can also use this Flu Vaccine Finder at flu.gov.

Flu season is here, with cases widespread in Virginia, but it's not too late to get a flu shot or nasal spray. Check out these previous stories:

Flu Season Is Here, But It's Not Too Late To Vaccinate
See where to get a flu shot near you.

Flu Season: How To Know If That's What You've Got
One in five Americans gets the flu, and here's how to know whether you've got it.

Think You Have The Flu? Here's The Best Treatment Plan: See how to treat the flu with and without medications.

Flu Season Is Here: What's The Best Way To Take Care Of Sick PeopleLearn how to help a sick person feel better and avoid getting sick yourself.

Don't Want To Get The Flu? Here's How To Prevent The Virus From SpreadingPrevent the virus from spreading by taking common sense steps in your everyday routine.

Flu Bug: It's Widespread In VirginiaMore than 60 percent of those who wind up in the hospital are people aged 18-64.

Flu Season Hits Hard: Virginia Officials Report First Flu Death: A Northern Virginia child has died from the flu.

For more information about influenza, its symptoms, prevention and treatment, or cases reported, you can visit flu.gov, the CDC, the Virginia Department of Health, or the District of Columbia Department of Health.

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