It's no secret that the flu is running rampant through much of the United States right now. A new map shows just how bad it's gotten in both Missouri and Illinois.

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The CDC just released their weekly update for influenza in the United States. Reading the small print shows how they tabulate their numbers:

This system monitors visits for respiratory illness that includes fever plus a cough or sore throat, also referred to as ILI, not laboratory confirmed influenza and may capture patient visits due to other respiratory pathogens that cause similar symptoms.

With that in mind, the redder the state on their map, the worse the flu is. Purple is the highest levels of influenza based on the map legend.

Infographic, CDC
Infographic, CDC

All of the Midwestern states are seeing sky-high flu numbers with Kansas and Nebraska being the highest. Both Missouri and Illinois are rated as "very high" for episodes of the flu according to the CDC numbers.

Why are flu numbers so much worse in 2022 than previous years? There are obviously theories with CNBC estimating that during the height of the pandemic, many more people were wearing masks than in 2022 when most areas dropped recommendations and/or requirements.

The CDC reportedly saw this uptick in flu cases begin to rise back in October. Vox shared a chart backing up the claim that influenza was spreading quick and wide. With months of winter still ahead, it will be interesting to see if the flu cases level out or if this will be a record-breaking year of sickness.

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