Is the 2018 flu season almost over? There’s good news and bad news

Flu season has been particularly bad this year, and we’re all desperate for it to be over. From having anxiety over the possibility of getting sick to worrying if the flu vaccine will actually protect you, it’s been a lot to handle for everyone. So, if you’re wondering whether the 2018 flu season is almost over, the answer is: Well, it’s not that simple.

The good news is that based on flu-related visits to the doctor, flu season has “definitely peaked,” according to the CDC. (That sound you hear is a big sigh of relief!) The CDC tracks the severity of flu season and can even pinpoint flu activity state by state. California, Oregon, Utah, and Nevada are still experiencing moderate flu activity, according to CNN. Live in Washington, Idaho, or Hawaii? You’re in luck, because the flu is having minimal impact in your state right now.

However, experts still recommend you get a flu shot if the flu is circulating in your community. It’s a safety precaution you should seriously consider, especially given the severity of the 2018 flu season. At least 114 children have died from the flu this season, exceeding last year’s total of 101. And while it’s uncommon, the flu can also lead to septic shock, which is often fatal. That’s why getting your flu shot is a selfless act: It can help protect those who aren’t eligible to get one.

So, it’s looking like flu season is officially in decline, which is great. But it’s still out there, and you can definitely still get sick.

Besides getting the flu shot, you can take other precautions to help avoid getting sick. For one, keep those especially germy places clean and sanitized (your cell phone and computer keyboard comes to mind). And if you find yourself feeling sickly, try these all-natural tips to start feeling better faster. You might consider heading straight to the doctor’s office for a Tamiflu prescription — it has to be taken within the first two days of flu symptoms to be effective.

Though experts have been stymied by this year’s flu strains, they’re already hard at work on next year’s flu shot. Do yourself a favor and get vaccinated early — even if it doesn’t prevent the flu, it can help lessen the duration and severity of flu symptoms.

Feel better!