MS is now one of three states seeing a high level of activity from influenza-like illnesses, according to the CDC.
Flu symptoms, which can include fever, coughing, sore throat, body aches, headaches, chills, and fatigue, generally don't pose serious consequences for many people, but can develop into more serious health problems like pneumonia or respiratory failure and can, at times, be fatal.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta says other states reporting widespread cases of the flu are Arkansas, Connecticut, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
There have also been 21 ICU admissions and 13 reported deaths related to the flu.
Public health officials this week urged New Yorkers to get vaccinated to combat the virus, which has arrived early to North America this year. "Get your flu shot and get protected".
"Get the flu shot if you haven't had it yet, it takes about 10 days to build immunity to the flu and it will give you protection for all the strains you could get exposed to later in the year", he said.
Experts are predicting this may be a particularity bad flu season as the cases piled up before the traditional peak.
For the 2017-18 flu season, manufacturers projected they would supply the United States with 151 million to 166 million doses of injectable influenza vaccine.
The majority of people hit by the flu this season will recover; however, hundreds of thousands of others won't be as lucky.
Zucker described influenza as a serious illness that can lead to hospitalization or death. More than 600 required hospitalization. The nasal spray vaccine is not recommended this year.
According to the investigators, the new findings could assist countries that want to introduce or expand flu vaccination programs and could be used to help win more support from global health groups looking to increase access to the vaccines in low- and middle-income countries. Individuals and families without health insurance should check with their county health department to find out if local clinics will be held to provide free or low-priced vaccinations.
If you're already sick and plan to travel, it's best to not book that trip.
At this time a year ago, there were 42 confirmed cases and 15 hospitalizations, health officials said. Flannery said highest-risk patients are the elderly, pregnant women and infants, and people who have underlying conditions, such as lung or heart conditions.
The health system is recommending that people accompanying outpatients to their treatments follow the same recommendations.
The alert, known as the regulation for prevention of influenza transmission, first went into effect during the 2013-14 influenza season.
While both national and global indicators hint that the illness could be severe this year, officials at the New Mexico Department of Health say it's too early to predict how bad the flu season might be.