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The Boston Globe

Health & wellness

Flu outbreak hitting Mass. early and hard

The dreaded annual tide of fever, sore throat, sniffles, and body aches is washing over Massachusetts unusually early this year and with uncharacteristic force.

State health officials said Friday that the number of people sick with the flu, or flulike symptoms, has drastically ­increased the past several weeks, and the level of illness has already surpassed the peaks of the last two flu seasons.

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