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Flu Activity on Rise but Still Low

It has been a mild flu season so far, but influenza activity has gradually started to increase in recent weeks, the CDC is reporting.

The influenza season is usually regarded as having started when 10% of respiratory samples taken in cases of influenza-like illness test positive for the virus, the agency noted in the February 24 issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

This year, that mark wasn't reached until the week ending February 4, and the proportion rose to 15% in the week ending February 11, the agency reported.

The peak of the flu season usually occurs in February, the CDC noted, but "substantial activity" can occur as late as May. For that reason, the agency is still urging people to get a flu shot.

In a separate report, the CDC found that having a doctor suggest or offer a flu shot markedly increased the rate of vaccination among pregnant women during the pandemic season of 2009-2010.

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