CDC: 37 children dead, flu virus still spreading

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The Centers for Disease Control has announced staggering new numbers on the deadly flu epidemic hitting the nation. (WLS)

The Centers for Disease Control has announced staggering new numbers on the deadly flu epidemic hitting the nation.

It seems like nearly everyone is getting sick and doctors said we may be weeks away before seeing an improvement.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, the flu virus is still spreading at a rapid pace. Nearly all of the United States seeing high flu activity.

"People will be studying this flu season for many years to come in order to better understand exactly what happened," said Dr. Emily Landon, Hospital Epidemiologist University of Chicago.

Dr. Emily Landon says this year is definitely worse than what we've seen in the past few.

"This year it feels a little bit worse because so many of our friends and family are getting sick. There isn't a group of people that's easily protected by the vaccine, so no one seems to be, you know, safe," said Dr. Landon.

If you think the end is near, think again.

"Influenza doesn't usually peak in this part of the world until mid-February. If we're lucky it will be a few weeks earlier this year, but that's just a prediction. You can never really predict with much confidence what influenza is going to do," said Dr. Landon.

The epidemic has gotten deadlier. Thirty-seven children have died because of flu-like illness. The most recent deaths, a 12-year-old from Florida and an Indiana mother who took care of her sick son and husband before being diagnosed with the flu and dying just three days later.

But is this the worst flu season yet? Not even doctors can say for sure.

"I would say for any individual the worst flu season is the one where they get the flu," said Dr. Landon.

But while there may be some local shortages, the CDC says supplies of antiviral drug Tamiflu nationwide are strong.

"We don't have any sign of a Tamiflu shortage this year. And that's great news because Tamiflu can be really helpful in preventing some of the complications with flu," said Dr. Landon.

Locally, the Walgreens in Greektown said Tamiflu was available as of Friday afternoon. However, both Walgreens and CVS told ABC 7 to call ahead as there's high demand and certain pharmacies may periodically run out.
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