Nationwide flu outbreak reaches epidemic levels

By: Chelsea Wallace Email
By: Chelsea Wallace Email

The flu is widespread in nearly every state and officials say the number of sick people has reached an epidemic level.

Hospitals across the country are swamped with flu patients, but there is hope. The latest data hints the flu season may have already peaked in the Southeast.

The season isn't over yet, though. The virus is widespread in 47 states. Only California, Hawaii and Mississippi are spared from the worst of the outbreak.

A school in Tulsa, OK was closed on Friday for a massive cleaning because so many kids are sick with the flu.

The flu shot is still your best bet to keep from getting sick, but it may not be as effective as you think. A new study of more than 1,000 patients finds the vaccine only 62% affective. This is pretty normal for flu vaccines and doctors agree we need a better vaccine. Despite the moderate effects, the shot is considered to be a good match for 90% of circulating flu bugs.

So far 20 people have died nationally from the flu. No flu deaths have been reported in the Grand Valley yet this season, but experts warn the season has not yet reached its peak and the worst could be just around the corner.

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