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Seasonal flu widespread in the United States, CDC says

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Tennessee is just one of several states dealing with a widespread flu outbreak. Right now about half of the states in the nation are reporting flu activity. Reporter Elizabeth Cohen shows us why the flu shot should be on your list of to do items right now. In just one week, the number of states reporting widespread flu has more than doubled from 10 states to 25. Among the victims of the flu so far this season: 25 year old Anne Phillips-Dwan from South Bend, Indiana who passed away on Christmas Eve and 5 year old Ronan Burgess from Portland, Oregon. Young people die from the flu every year, but this year it could turn out to be particularly bad because the main flu strain out there is H1N1 (what used to be called the swine flu). It disproportionally affects people under 65. There is good news.

H1N1 is in the flu shot and it's not too late to get one. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the flu vaccine for nearly everyone. It does take 2 weeks for the shot to build up immunity so in the meantime, it's especially important to remember to wash your hands.

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