This flu season continue to claim more lives. The total death statistics has climbed up to a staggering 40,414 across the country.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have recorded one in ten deaths due to the flu virus.
The intensity of the current flu season is already comparable to the 2009-2010 swine flu epidemic that killed more than 200,000.
During the swine flu epidemic, an estimate of 60.8 million Americans got sick with the flu, 274,304 were hospitalized and 12,469 died.
CDC acting director Dr. Anne Schuchat said this flu season is likely to break new records.
"This is a difficult season, and we can't predict how much longer the severe season will last. I wish there was better news, but everything we are looking at is bad news," says Schuchat in CDC's weekly flu surveillance report.
Brace For More
The statistics released by CDC indicate a worsening situation. A total of 124,316 Americans caught the flu since the start of the season. Nationwide influenza activity is at 7.7 percent, breaking the 2003-2004 non-pandemic year.
In the fifth-week of the year, flu-related hospitalizations increased to 60 out of every 100,000 compared to the rate of 51 in the previous week.
A total of 63 pediatric deaths were recorded since the onset of the flu season in October 2017. Ten new deaths happened during week five.
The dire condition is likely to continue and Schuchat said those who are likely to die are flu patients already in the hospital.
"Unfortunately, more deaths are likely to happen. Over the next few weeks, we do expect and it would make sense to see more pneumonia and influenza-related deaths," Shuchat said.
Former National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Dr. Anthony Fauci said this flu season is one of the worst.
Patients Contracting Strains Of Influenza
The prevalent flu strain is still the Influenza A or the H2N2 but the CDC also noted rising strains of Influenza B and H1NI virus.
Recent reports reveal that patients are contracting two strains of the flu.
A special education teacher from Mullin, Texas who got sick with the flu two weeks ago is now on life support after contracting both the H3N2 and H1N1 strain, pneumonia, and a drug-resistant bacterial infection.
Crystal Whitley received flu vaccination in October last year after giving birth to her son.
A 58-year-old mother from Forth Worth, Texas who was diagnosed with two different flu strains this season died on Feb. 3 due to complications.
Angie Barwise was first diagnosed with flu, bronchitis, and strep during the holidays. She survived her first bout with flu after receiving medication but exactly one month after, she was sick again with flu and pneumonia and her health steadily deteriorated.
The CDC said it is not yet too late to get vaccinated and some protection is better than none.
The flu epidemic is present in 48 states.