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Flu remains widespread in US; eases in some areas

This Monday, Jan. 7, 2013 photo shows a tent prepared for expected flu patients outside of the Emergency Room at Lehigh Valley Hospital at Cedar Crest, in Salisbury Township, Pa. The tent was set up after cases were piling up at the Salisbury Township hospital Monday, with the hospital reporting an extremely busy flu season so far. The flu season arrived early in the U.S. this year, but health officials and experts say it's too early to say this will be a bad one. Experts say evidence so far is pointing to a moderate flu season - it just looks worse because last year's season was so mild. Flu usually doesn't blanket the country until late January or February. Now, it's already widespread in more than 40 states. That could change when the next government report comes out Friday. (Photo By The Associated Press)
This Monday, Jan. 7, 2013 photo shows a tent prepared for expected flu patients outside of the Emergency Room at Lehigh Valley Hospital at Cedar Crest, in Salisbury Township, Pa. The tent was set up after cases were piling up at the Salisbury Township hospital Monday, with the hospital reporting an extremely busy flu season so far. The flu season arrived early in the U.S. this year, but health officials and experts say it's too early to say this will be a bad one. Experts say evidence so far is pointing to a moderate flu season - it just looks worse because last year's season was so mild. Flu usually doesn't blanket the country until late January or February. Now, it's already widespread in more than 40 states. That could change when the next government report comes out Friday. (Photo By The Associated Press)
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.The Associated Press
Friday, January 18, 2013 11:25 am
Health officials say nine more deaths of children from the flu have been reported, bringing the total this flu season to 29.In a typical season, about 100 children die of the flu, so it is not known whether this year will be better or worse than usual.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says half of confirmed flu cases so far are in people 65 and older.

This year's season is earlier than normal and the dominant flu strain is one that tends to make people sicker. The flu is widespread in all states but Tennessee and Hawaii and is starting to ease in some areas.

Health officials say it's not too late to get a flu shot to help protect against the flu.

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