Aja C. Holmes planned to go to work last week, but her flu symptoms — a cough, fever and severe body aches that worsened overnight — had other ideas.
"It felt like somebody took a bat and beat my body up and down," said Holmes, 39, who works as a residential life director at California State University, Sacramento. "I couldn't get out of bed."
The nation is having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad flu season.
Flu is widespread in 46 states, including California, according to the latest reports to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Nationally, as of mid-December, at least 106 people had died from the infectious disease. At least 27 Californians younger than 65 had died as of Friday, seven of them during the week before Christmas. And states across the country are reporting higher-than-average flu-related hospitalizations and emergency room visits.
In California, the flu struck surprisingly early and hard this season. The state's higher temperatures typically mean people are not as confined to the indoors, leading to a later flu season compared with other regions. Health experts aren't sure why this season is different.