Jan. 4 - Nearly half of the U.S. is reporting widespread influenza activity, most of it attributed to the H1N1 virus that caused a worldwide pandemic in 2009. Linda So reports.
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This year's peak flu season hit hard and early.
New numbers from the Centers for Disease Control show the flu is now widespread in 25 states.
Several deaths have been linked to the H1N1 strain, also known as swine flu.
It caused a worldwide pandemic in 2009.
In Michigan, dozens of patients are on life support at the University of Michigan Hospital and one child has already died from the flu.
SOUNDBITE: DR. MATTHEW DAVID, UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN HOSPITAL, SAYING:
"It seems to be starting very early, and starting in a big volume at least in this area and it makes us concerned not only locally but across the state about what may be a more severe flu season than we're accustomed to."
Texas has been hit the hardest, 25 people have died from the flu there.
The deadly outbreak has people scrambling to get their flu shots.
SOUNDBITE: ANGELA MINICUCI, MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNITY HEALTH, SAYING:
"It's never too late to get your flu shot. It takes two weeks for the flu shot to be fully effective so we recommend you getting it as soon as you possibly can."
While younger people were more susceptible to H1N1 in 2009, the CDC says it's too early to tell whether the same will be true this year.
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