Flu season may have a more muted impact on some health care stocks than investors expect, even though experts warn that this year's version is shaping up to be more intense than recent seasons.

Higher-than-normal reports of flu started cropping up in several states before Christmas, and flu-related hospitalizations also began climbing earlier than usual. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has warned that they see a bad season shaping up for the flu, which usually peaks in midwinter.

On average, about 24,000 Americans die each flu season, according to the CDC.

"The current cold, cough and flu season looks to be the most severe in at least the last decade and continues to intensify," analyst Edward J. Kelly said in a research note. Kelly covers pharmacies for Credit Suisse.

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