She explained that last season, unlike previous seasons, flu did not strike one region of the country and then move across the land. Because it is important to start antiviral medication quickly, high-risk patients should contact a health care professional at the first signs of influenza symptoms. The nasal spray flu vaccine option is also suggested this flu season.
According to the CDC, it's hard to predict the timing, severity and length of a flu season.
Last year's season started about a month earlier than usual, gained in November, peaked in February and hung on into March.
While reporting of adult deaths due to influenza isn't required, Nebraska health officials last year recorded 90 deaths related to influenza, the most in the past few years.
Overall, the United States experienced one of the most severe flu seasons in recent decades.
Dr. Jasmine Marcelin, an assistant professor in the infectious diseases division at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, said it takes about two weeks for the vaccine to provide full protection. The health department also accepts Medicaid and participates in the Vaccine for Children program.
Safranek said people should go ahead and get the shot now if they have an opportunity at a workplace clinic or an upcoming doctor's appointment.
CDC officials do not have exact counts of how many people die from flu each year.
Flu vaccines that were not wholly effective exacerbated the problem, but Redfield told AP that he'd still "like to see more people get vaccinated". That strain tended to send people to the hospital and result in fatalities, particularly among those who are vulnerable, such as young children and the elderly.
More than 42,700 Islanders who fall within these groups will be eligible for vaccines, which will be administered in nurseries, schools, GP surgeries and pharmacies.
The makeup of the vaccine has been changed this year to try to better protect against expected strains. But the vaccine has been tweaked to better match circulating strains, including getting an updated H3N2 component.
And it has also revealed that Islanders aged 65 and over will received a "turbo-charged" vaccine, while pregnant women and those with long-term health conditions such as diabetes will have a "gold standard" jab that will protect them against four strains of virus.