The state Health Department reported the
"It's dropping off markedly," said Dr.
Compared to last year, which saw three weeks of similarly "widespread" flu — the highest rating — confined to March, this year's season started significantly earlier and has extended much longer.
It started in the southwest of the state, which typically has more severe outbreaks, and spread north and east, according to Berg. It hit Hampton Roads a couple of weeks later than other regions, but appears to have peaked at the same time. "Our area is like most of the rest of the state. The drop is being seen throughout," he said.
According to the Trust for America's Health, every year, around 20 percent of Americans get the flu. Between 3,000 and 49,000 Americans die from flu-related illnesses and an average of 226,000 are hospitalized. It counts the associated economic losses at more than $10 billion in direct medical expenses and more than $16 billion in lost earnings nationwide.