For the week ending January 17, based on pneumonia and influenza mortality surveillance, the season is still above epidemic levels, as is typical during flu season.
Epidemic means that the number of cases is higher than usual. Forty-four states reported widespread flu activity, and 23 states and Puerto Rico reported high levels of outpatient visits for influenza-like illness (ILI).
However, studies have shown that many doctors don’t prescribe the antivirals because it doesn’t cure the flu — it only shortens the time you have symptoms by a day or two. Many doctors believe it should be reserved for those most at risk for complications.