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Flu Outbreak Across the US
Thursday, January 10th, 2013 -- 8:24 am
Posted by Riley Hebert-News Director

-The Neillsville area and Wisconsin are not the only places that have seen a major outbreak of the flu virus.

The flu has been spreading fiercely across the United States, with more than half of states reporting widespread activity. The season has started earlier, and cases are more severe than last year, health officials say.

The latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention flu advisory report, which covers the week of December 23 to 29, suggests that 41 states have widespread influenza activity, which was an increase of 31 states from the previous week. The CDC will issue an update on the flu situation Friday.

There have so far been 2,257 hospitalizations associated with laboratory-confirmed flu virus.

Scientists believe the reason behind the widespread flu epidemic is because the heart of flu season coincided with the holiday season. The large amount of traveling done during that time may have helped spread the disease.

Besides getting a vaccination there are other things you can do to protect yourself and others from the virus.

Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing, and throw the tissue away after use. If a tissue isnít available, cough or sneeze into the elbow, not the hands. Wash your hands often, especially after coughing or sneezing. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand-rub. Also, avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth and avoid close contact with people who are sick. Finally, just stay home if youíre sick.

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