Thirty-six states report influenza activity as "widespread". That would be all the brown ones in the CDC map, above.
Nota bene the number of states with no influenza activity this year is "zero".
The CDC has identified 648 different active influenza virus sub-types this year, to date.
Anecdotally, where I am, approximately 4 out of every 6 persons swabbed for flu for URIs in the ER are coming back with positive results. (My patient pop. average age is markedly older than most of the county.) Just the other night, I admitted three different people over the age of 60 to the hospital, for flu which had debilitated the patients, who subsequently acquired pneumonia as well, the latter affliction being well capable of killing you deader than canned tuna untreated. Breathing underwater has that effect on people.
Flu symptoms are fever, sore throat, cough, body aches, fatigue, muscle aches, and possibly nausea/vomiting.
If you have a fever, you are infectious to others.
If you're treating a fever with Tylenol/ibuprofen/etc., you are infectious to others.
If either of those apply, keep your dumb ass at home, until you're over it. Period.
Anything else deserves a crotch kick.
(A co-worker was patient Zero at my ER, and another colleague gifted me with the crud for two weeks, followed by another four weeks of dreadfully lingering cough. This year's cold has a horrendous URI "tail" of hacking cough that just hangs on.)
1) Stay the f*** home. Until it's ALL gone.
2) Get plenty of sleep and rest, but get up and move around, if only to use the bathroom, make a sandwich, pee, poop, or puke. Lying immobile increases your odds for bigger problems.
3) acetaminophen/ibuprofen for fever control and aches.
4) Water, water, water. Anything less than an hourly pee trip, and your pee isn't clear and mostly colorless, you're probably not drinking nearly enough water.
5) Soups, Gatorade, Jell-O, popsicles, etc. are also water.
6) And more water.
7) Caffeine and alcohol are diuretics, and dehydrate you more, and faster. Avoid both.
8) Take any number of "snivel" meds to mitigate symptoms, loosen congestion and mucus, suppress cough, etc.
9) If you find homeopathic voodoo meds that help, use them. They likely can't hurt.
10) Stay the f*** home. Until it's ALL gone.
This year's flu outbreak is in addition to normal viral illnesses (a "cold"), which are similarly rampant, especially from Thanksgiving to Easter, when intergenerational family members gather to share diseases and finger-bang everything they touch and cough on, for everyone from snot-monkey age to grandma and grandpa.
1) Keep yourself and your little bastards home when they're sick.
2) Wash your hands.
3) Wash your hands before you eat, drink, or touch your face.
4) Wash your hands.
5) Wash your hands after you poop, pee, cough, or touch anything else in the entire world.
6) Wash your hands.
7) Cover your mouth when you cough.
8) Keep at home all your kids too young and stupid to learn to cover their mouths when they cough.
9) Carry personal disinfectant/sanitizer, and use it vigorously and frequently.
10) Understand that if I catch you or your kids out and about in public, coughing, sneezing, and dribbling your snot-mitts on everything, I may replace or augment my personal disinfectant with OC spray, and I will use it on you. If you can still identify me afterwards, and I'm still in the same area 30 minutes later when your vision clears up, I may express feigned/mock regret over my "mistake" in grabbing the wrong spritzer and using it on you.
11) Or, not.
I doubt I'm the only person who's likely to respond in that manner.
Learn a lesson or two, and live.
Addendum: Flu Shots
As a rule, flu shots work.
1) Suck it up, and get the shot if you're in a risk group (Older than 55/immunocompromised/health worker/EMS/fire dept./etc.)
2) You cannot get the flu from a flu shot; it's a killed form of the virus. If you did, you would be in the Guinness Book under impossible biology.
(But while your immune system is cooking up antibodies in response, you can still get a cold/URI. But that can happen anytime anyways, so qwitcherbitchin.)
3) That said, don't expect great things from it this year.
Okay, every year, the Flu Poobahs look at last year's viral strains, and try to guess which way they're going to mutate next year, so Pharma Inc. can start cooking the next year's batch.
So they mix up a batch with multiple strains; this year's has:
Some years, they nail it; a couple of years back, the vaccine was rated something like 98% effective against the prevailing strains.
But it's a crap shoot, and this year's shot is only rated around 19% effective, last I heard.
(If you have the latest MMWR report with better numbers, post a link in comments.)
And save the crank-bait about the shots being a scam. They get to pick three to four strains; there are 648 active strains out there right now. It's somewhere between a medical best guess and a lotto pick, every year. If you can do better, get a job at one of the drug companies, and tell us how your picks turn out.
You should still get the shot if you're at risk, but it isn't the magic bullet this year as in some prior years.
So if you aren't in a risk group, and under 55, save your $, and spend it on hand sanitizer and N95 masks.
And wash your hands!