Tonight, we want to tell you about the first sign that the flu epidemic could be starting to peak. Tonight, 47 states are swamped by the virus, only three states have escaped the worst of the... See More
Tonight, we want to tell you about the first sign that the flu epidemic could be starting to peak. Tonight, 47 states are swamped by the virus, only three states have escaped the worst of the outbreak. California, mississippi and hawaii. But there are some new clues to show you tonight, stirring hope and abc's chief medical editor dr. Richard besser here to show you. Tonight, I'm cautiously optimistic, a sign in southern states hit earliest, that the peak of the flu epidemic has passed. Tonight, amid all of the sneezing and coughing a glimmer of hope. We talked to hospitals and health departments across the south and many of seeing it. From knoxville, tennessee, we're seeing that downturn. To north carolina, "looks like we peaked early." But it's not universal. Even in the same states, some hospitals are still getting slammed. Our numbers don't yet reflect a downturn, a doctor from duke university hospital, also in north carolina, tells us. This year's flu season hit EARLY, NOVEMBER 25th, A MONTH Earlier than a typical one. Now six weeks into it and if this year is like years past, we like have six or more to go. It's not too late to get some protection and today, the cdc provided first indication as to how well the vaccine is working. Turns out it's 62% effective, meaning if you got the vaccine you're 62% less lick tlie have to visit your doctor for the flu. But the cdc acknowledges there have been shortages of the vaccine, so our team fanned out across the country to see what they could find. In chicago. I'm going to log on to flu.Gov to find the closest place to get a flu shot. At the farm seas, success. Do you flu vaccine left? We certain dloi. New york city, another success. Ten vaccines an hour? Yes. Reporter: In noernts, our first call came up empty. We have any. You don't have any left? Reporter: Tonight, the cdc says if you at first you don't succeed keep c a round. With these weeks left, rich, can you get the flu twice? Unfortunately, you can. There is at least three strains of flu that are out there, so if october, november, you got one strain, you are still susceptible to the other ones. It's not too late to get protected. The flu shot still matter, you can get it again any time. What about the three states appeared to fared the worse, any reason why? It's the way flu works, starts in one part of the country and they'll see a wave and come down and then it moves around and they are not going to be spared in the end, they're going to get there. California, for some reason, is often late. They'll see the flu. All right. A bold prediction there. Thank you so much. As we make our way through these weeks of the flu, nearly 40% of us are using so-called complementary treatments, herbs and remedies in the drugstore and kitchen cabinets. So we asked our senior medical contra contributor dr. Jennifer ashton to reveals the twhaun really help. Reporter: If you're home sick with the flu, boosting traditional treatments with natural ingredients you can find in your local vitamin store may bring you some real relief. Elderberry, specifically the sambucol type, is what you are looking for. There are studies that shows that elderberry pills or extract shorten the duration of flu symptoms in adults. They can also help ease swollen sinuses. Just don't eat the wild berries. They can be toxic. Look what you can find in the supermarket. In the spice aisle you might want to grab a jar of turmeric. The popular indian spice is believed to help prevent the spread of virus. What about the old favorite? Chicken soup. Your mom might have been behind something and there is science behind hit. Scien science has shown it can clear up con rejection and chicken soup affects your body's white blood cells, holding them back from creating con rejection, less coughing and less sneezing. And it's not something seen with any other soup. Now, more research needs to be done on these and other treatments and its important to remember that complementary medicine should not be a substitute for traditional medicine. They intrigue you? They do intrigue me. With the possibility they do help. Thank you, jen ashton.
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