The United States is seeing its fair share of illness this winter.
The country is in the midst of a particularly bad flu season, the worst outbreak of whooping cough since 1955, and an emerging outbreak of norovirus (a stomach bug that causes diarrhea and vomiting.)
Despite the seeming inundation of illness, experts say there is no connection between the three outbreaks, or any reason why all three would be happening now.
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"As far as we know, they're completely coincidental and separate," said Dr. Andy Pavia, chief of the University of Utah's Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, and chair of the influenza advisory committee at the Infectious Disease Society of America.
It's not at all surprising we're seeing flu cases now, since the virus occurs around this time every year. But this season is looking like a serious one, with more people visiting the doctor for flu-like illness so far this season than at any point last season. The early start to this year's season, as well as the particular strains in circulation, may be reasons why more people are sick this year. (See What You Can Do About the Raging Flu.)