15 children dead as flu reaches epidemic level
WASHINGTON - With winter just beginning, it already seems that the flu epidemic is off to a strong start in the United States.
The Centers for Disease Control says the flu is now widespread in a total of 36 states, and has already been responsible for the deaths of 15 children.
The CDC estimates that nearly 7% of all flu-related deaths nationwide were due to pneumonia and influenza during the week ending Dec. 20.
If you haven't gotten your flu shot, it isn't too late. Health experts recommend vaccination for everyone six months of age and older for as long as the flu virus is in active circulation.
Warnings from the CDC state though that this year's flu strain has mutated in ways that make the vaccine less effective than experts had initially hoped.