This flu season is starting to rival the pandemic of 2009 in number of people infected. This is surprising because the strain reported to be causing most of the infections is said by the CDC not to have changed significantly. Usually, a big increase in flu outbreaks after years with mild outbreaks is associated with a new strain of virus.
It is too soon to say whether severe illness and deaths will be signicantly higher this year. This is because deaths lag infections by weeks to months.