The Flu Is Already Widespread in 36 States, CDC Says

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The Centers for Disease Control is reporting widespread flu activity in 36 states, including NY.

Twenty-one states are now experiencing high amounts of influenza activity and 36 states reported widespread cases, according to new CDC data released Friday, ABC News reported.

"The circulating flu strains match those in the current flu vaccine, so the vaccine remains the best defence against the virus".

During that week ending December 16, Puerto Rico and 23 states reported regional flu activity, while the District of Columbia and Delaware, Hawaii, Utah, and West Virginia reported only local flu activity.

"This death is a sad reminder that flu can be deadly, especially for people at risk for severe disease", Dr. Julie Vaishampayan, Stanislaus County Public Health Officer, said in a news release. People who have the flu often feel some or all of these symptoms - fever or chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches and fatigue.

In the last seven days alone 1,111 people have been hit by flu - a shocking increase of 156%. When someone posts to Facebook that "they have the flu" and the posts are made publicly and with geolocation tags, that information is added to the Sick Weather data.

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¯ Keep your hands away from your eyes, nose and mouth.

If you suspect or know you have the flu, you should avoid touching or coming into close contact with others to prevent them from becoming sick.

According to N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, a child in the central part of the state died last week from complications associated with flu.

The health department can bill insurance, but it also can serve those without insurance as well as those who are under-insured, Keller said.

Children and people with a weakened immune system are particularly at risk for much tougher cases of the flu. Flu-related complications can lead to hospitalization and sometimes death. "People become protected about two weeks after receiving the vaccine", said Taylor.

A DNA vaccine could instruct a person's skin cells to generate antigens and induce antibodies and T cell responses to fight the flu, according to UW Medicine.

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