Flu Epidemic 'Widespread' in Most States

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Red areas indicate 'widespread' flu virus. Map via Google: Red areas indicate 'intense' flu rate.

The Daily Banter Headline Grab. From CNN:

The flu is spreading fiercely across the United States, with more than 40 states reporting widespread activity in what one of the nation's leading health officials is calling an epidemic.

"If you look at the charts that the (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) put out on their website, it clearly has gone above that threshold. So we are into what would classically be described as a flu epidemic," Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, told CNN's Wolf Blitzer on Thursday.

"It's still on the uptick," Fauci added.

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.

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