Groundhog Day report: Flu’s worsening shadow blanketing US, peak yet to come

Dr. Hany Atallah stands inside a mobile emergency room set up outside Grady Memorial Hospital to help handle the ever-growing number of flu cases in Atlanta, Monday, Jan. 29, 2018. The trailer, called Carolinas MED-1, has 14 beds and will sit outside the hospital’s main emergency room for 30 days to alleviate wait times and bed shortages. It opens to patients the next day. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

NEW YORK (AP) – It looks like Groundhog Day for the nation’s flu report, too: It’s gotten worse, and there are weeks of suffering ahead.

The government’s latest report out Friday shows the flu season continued to intensify last week.

One of every 14 visits to doctors and clinics were for symptoms of the flu. That’s the highest level since the swine flu pandemic in 2009.

Last week, 42 states reported high patient traffic for the flu, up from 39. Hospital stays because of the flu were also up.

Experts had thought this season might be bad, but its intensity has surprised most everyone. The flu usually peaks in February.

Friday’s report is from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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