(HealthDay News) — The current flu season, already off to a rough start, continues to get worse, with 43 states now reporting widespread flu activity and 21 child deaths so far, U.S. health officials said Monday.

The predominate flu continues to be the H3N2 strain – one that is poorly matched to this year’s vaccine, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The proportion of outpatient visits for flu-like symptoms reached nearly 6% by the end of December, way above the baseline of 2%, CDC spokeswoman Erin Burns said Monday.

The CDC reminds that people at risk of flu-related complications include young children, especially those <2 years; people >65 years; pregnant women; and people with chronic health problems, such as asthma, heart disease, and weakened immune systems.

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