Flu: "Classic Epidemic"

Friday, January 11, 2013 - 3:41pm

Flu continues to spread; 47 states report widespread cases.

Flu is now widespread in nearly every state and officials say the number of sick people has reach an epidemic level, but there is early evidence the flu could be waning in a few areas of the country.

Although it's still early, the latest data hint the flu season may have peaked in the Southeast.

Still, it's far from over.

The illness is now widespread in 47 states, sparing only California, Hawaii and Mississippi the worst of the outbreak.

Thousands are ill.

One Tulsa, Oklahoma school closed Friday for a massive scrub-down because of so many sick kids.

A new study of more than 1,000 patients finds the flu shot is 62-percent effective.

That means you're 62-percent less likely to need to see a doctor if you do get sick.

It's pretty normal for influenza vaccines.

"We're all in agreement that we need a much better vaccine," says Dr. Edward Ehlinger.

Doctors point out it's the best tool available to protect patients from the worst outcomes.

"It does prevent the complications, pneumonia, hospitalizations and hello, death," says Dr. William Schaffner.

There are reports of vaccine shortages in some areas of the country.

Demand is high.

Despite the moderate effectiveness the shot is considered to be a good match for 90-percent of the circulating flu bugs.

Nationally 20 children have died from the flu.

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