By Joseph Davidi 2/20/2018

Courtesy of Creative Commons

This intense flu season is finally slowing down.

This year’s flu season is one of the most challenging in decades, according to the Centers for Disease and Control. Preliminary data shows that visits to doctor’s offices and emergency rooms involving cases of the flu matched the rates at the height of the 2009 swine flu pandemic. Those numbers have since lowered, but are still higher than any other flu season since.

For the first time since November, flu activity has not increased from the previous week. The CDC reports that the number of states reporting heavy flu patient traffic has remained at 43.

The flu season is expected to last a few more weeks despite the apparent plateau.

“We are not out of the woods yet. We are not seeing any increase, and that is encouraging. But there still is a lot of flu happening out there,”  Dr. Daniel Jernigan, the CDC’s influenza chief, said.

Jernigan says that people should stay home if they feel sick and that people should get vaccinated for the flu if they have not already. The flu vaccine, although only estimated to be 25 percent effective, is still recommended as a precautionary step.