Federal health officials warned Friday that this year’s flu outbreak is more severe than any other since the 2009 swine flu pandemic, and that its intensity is still increasing.

Officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in a phone call with reporters that the number of people experiencing flu-like symptoms is increasing. Hospitalizations for influenza are also rising.

What’s more, flu activity has stayed at the same level nationwide for about three weeks, said Dr. Dan Jernigan, the director of the CDC’s Influenza Division. That sets it apart from many flu seasons, in which activity wanes in certain parts of the U.S.

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