The United States is in the middle of a very severe flu season that federal health officials say is starting to peak.

“Much of the country is experiencing a widespread and intense flu activity,” said Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Brenda Fitzgerald in a Friday call with reporters.

Data from the CDC on Friday found that hospitalizations due to the flu spiked this week. The CDC reported that there were 22.7 hospitalizations per 100,000 people in the U.S. due to flu, up from 13 hospitalizations per 100,000 in last week's report.

CDC reported that the flu season appears to be worse than the 2012-2013 flu season, but not as bad as the 2014-2015 season. The 2014-2015 season had a hospitalization rate of 29.9 people per 100,000, due in part to a flawed flu shot that had a low effectiveness rate.

Fitzgerald said that the flu season started early and is “probably peaking about right now. It will take many more weeks for flu activity to slow down.”

She added that there is still time to get a flu shot to protect against the flu.

“While our flu vaccines are far from perfect, they are the best way to prevent getting the flu,” she said.