Flu season hitting early and often

January 7, 2013 1:55:14 PM PST
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says an alarming 41 states have widespread influenza activity.

That's up 25 percent from just two weeks ago.

Already 18 children have died and health experts say those numbers will continue rising.

The Great Lakes area, including Illinois, is considered the hardest hit region right now with reports showing nearly 60 percent of those seeking medical attention tested positive for the flu.

Hospital emergency rooms are busy with waiting rooms full of patients with symptoms such as sore throat, coughs, body aches and fever.

Typical flu seasons usually start around now, after the holidays, but this year's season started back in October and the country is at levels not usually seen until spring.

CDC officials say it not too late to get the vaccine.