CDC Says Data Show Worsening Flu Season - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

CDC Says Data Show Worsening Flu Season

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Health officials say this flu season is shaping up to be one of the more severe in recent years. Earlier reports indicated that this could be a bad flu season, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the data now confirm it.

In the last week of December flu was widespread in 41 states; flu-related child and infant deaths climbed to 18 and outpatient visits for flu symptoms had jumped to 5.6%. The CDC's Tom Skinner says "people who come down with the flu can be pretty sick," with severe muscle aches and high-grade fever lasting 4 or 5 days.

Skinner says for "certain groups of people -- mainly children, the elderly, people with underlying health conditions -- it can be life-threatening."

He says the vaccine is well-matched to this year's flu strains, but isn't 100% effective. It does reduce the severity of the illness for those who do get it, though -- so it's still worth a shot.

For more information on the flu, go to http://www.cdc.gov/flu/   (AP)

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