Flu-related hospitalizations continue to climb at an accelerated rate this season.

The rate of flu-associated hospitalizations in the United States rose to 20.3 per 100,000 people from Oct. 1 to Jan. 27, well ahead of the number for last year in the same period, when it was 3.1 per 100,000 people, according to preliminary data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The flu is considered to be widespread in 40 states and Puerto Rico, leading some hospitals and health system executives to renew their call for the public to take preventive action. “People really need to be aggressive about going out and getting vaccinated,” said Lee Norman, chief medical officer for the University of Kansas Health System, in an interview with the Kansas City Star.

Resources to assist with vaccinations are available from the American Hospital Association at the Advancing Health in America website.

More than 93 percent of hospitalizations were for the influenza A virus, and most of the rest (5.9 percent) were for influenza B. Flu-associated mortality rates were unavailable from the CDC.