- More than 500,000 people visited hospitals for flu-like illness last week
- The flu can live on surfaces for up to 48 hours
- 111 million workdays are lost to the flu, as of 2011
This year's flu season, which began earlier than usual, is shaping up to be one of the worst in recent years, officials have said.
By the numbers, here's a look at the flu:
Effectiveness rate of this year's flu vaccine.
554,313: Hospital visits
for symptoms of "influenza-like illness" during the week ending January 5.
Workdays lost because of sick days relating to the flu, reported in 2011.
Direct cost of flu season
in the United States, including doctors' visits, hospitalizations and prescriptions.
Less than 6 months:
Age of a baby too young to receive a flu shot
Number of pediatric deaths
reported as of January 5.
Percentage of people who told Gallup in December
that they had the flu "yesterday." This is up from 2.8% the same time a year earlier.
Length of time you should scrub your hands
when you wash, to remove germs and bacteria adequately.
Recommended amount of alcohol necessary in hand sanitizers
to kill germs.
Possible radiated distance
of the spray from a sneeze. Yuck!
Up to 65:
Percent increase in facial tissue sales
in the wintertime.