Dr. Dan Jernigan, director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said the flu activity this season is high in 42 states and the District of Columbia as of the last full week of January.
The Spokane Regional Health District has recorded 430 flu-related hospitalizations for the 2017-2018 season, higher than any past year since the district started recording the statistics in 2009.
Dawson said the flu shot remains the best defense.
"We have not hit our peak yet, unfortunately", CDC spokeswoman Kristen Nordlund said.
Officials said the vast majority of reported cases - 78 percent - are in residents who have not been vaccinated for the flu this season.
"The kids who actually did receive the flu vaccine this year are a lot less sick than those who did not get the vaccine at all".
Health officials are strongly recommending that everyone 6 months of age and older get a seasonal flu vaccine. The flu virus can live and potentially infect a person for 2 to 8 hours after being deposited on a surface.
A nasty flu season may be peaking in Kitsap.More news: DOJ indicts leaders of cybercrime ring that allegedly stole $530 million
During this busy flu season, it's the ninth or 10th time the hospital has opened its flu clinic, Barbera said.
People can reduce the spread of the virus by staying home when sick, getting the flu shot and practicing good hand hygiene.
The CDC states the best way to prevent the flu is to get vaccinated.
The Arkansas Department of Health has deemed this flu season the worst in almost two decades after nearly 30 more people have died since last week.
Statewide, 132 people have died from the flu, a rate of 1.92 per 100,000 people.
Flu symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills, fatigue, and sometime diarrhea or vomiting.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Hand washing is an effective way to prevent many illnesses, including influenza.