The weather is warming up, flowers are blooming and the flu season is over – is not it? As it turns out, Americans still get the flu.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that this year's flu season has been one of the longest since 1997, when it began keeping records. And it's the longest in the last decade.
"This year was the longest flu season we've seen in the last decade," said Lynnette Brammer of the CDC Influenza Division, CBS New York reported. "It used to be the longest 20 weeks and now we're 21 years old."
One reason for the long flu season is that two types of flu viruses have appeared at different times.
"The beginning of the season was dominated by H1N1, and when that failed, the H3N2 viruses increased," Brammer said. "We had two different levels of influenza this year."
"I do not remember a season like this," Dr. Arnold Monto, a University of Michigan researcher, reported The Associated Press.
So far this season, up to 41.3 million people had influenza symptoms, with 19.4 million visits to the doctor and 610,000 in the hospital.
While flu cases are declining, doctors say the virus may even spread to the warmer weather.
"Given the flu season, influenza-like symptoms have a good chance that you have flu," said Brammer.
An important reminder is to take common sense precautions such as hand washing and staying at home in order to prevent the spread of the virus.