Flu widespread in 10 states

6:09 PM, Dec 27, 2013   |    comments
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DENVER - The number of states reporting "widespread flu" has more than doubled in just one week.

States with widespread flu are: Alabama, Alaska, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and Wyoming. "Widespread" means that more than 50 percent of the state is reporting flu activity.

Colorado's flu activity is classified as regional, meaning there are pockets of the virus.

So far this flu season, 263 Coloradans have been hospitalized with the virus. Twenty-two of them have been under the age of 2. At Children's Hospital Colorado, doctors have diagnosed more than 150 children, most of which were not hospitalized. As of Friday, the hospital was treating two patients with the flu.

No children in Colorado have died from the flu, but that's not the case in other states. Nationwide, four children have died from the flu since Sept. 29. 9NEWS Medical Expert Dr. John Torres says he has treated a lot of patients with Type A flu, which is most virulent and deadly strain. Many of those patients even got their flu shot.

Dr. John says this year children are especially at risk for flu because their immune systems are not fully developed. To keep your kids healthy this flu season, Dr. John recommends:

  1. Get a flu shot
  2. Wash your hands
  3. Stay home if you are sick
  4. Stay away from people who are sick

Once again, its still not too late to get a flu shot. Dr. John says while it may not completely stop you from catching the flu, the vaccine could lessen your symptoms or even save your life.

(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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