CDC declares nationwide flu epidemic

It's not too late to get the flu shot, which can help lesson symptoms if you do catch the flu virus.
2:12 | 01/13/18

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Transcript for CDC declares nationwide flu epidemic
We do want to turn to the flu with I is now considered an epidemic. Every state except Hawaii is reporting widespread iltness and the new numbers from the CDC are out this morning. Those numbers include seven pediatric deaths reported this week. Reported this week and that brings the total to 20 and the hospitalization rate for children under 5 doubling. Our chief medical associate Jen Ashton is here with us this morning. Good morning. Good morning, Jen. So we're at peak season. What else are we learning about this report. The CDC put out their weekly report yesterday as they always do on Fridays and in the last week they've reported that we are now at epidemic level. That we expected because the numbers are going up. This is the worst flu season since 2014, 2015 and the CDC has said this is really the first time that on some measure, some parameters the whole country is really seeing similar levels of activity. The good news is that we may be at or close to peak. We will know that probably in a couple of weeks but, again, we've heard some tragic deaths reported this week. Most occurring in people in the vulnerable age group over 65 but to make no mistake be very clear, this flu is taking the lives of young previously healthy people as it always does and it's tragic. No joke but a lot of misinformation about the vacc some people may hear the vaccine is not supereffective and say I don't need to get it. What do you say. It's part of what I call the flu having a pr problem because people either think the flu is just a bad cold or they hear correctly that the vaccine is not that effective so why should I bother? Both of those things are untrue. We do have some data that suggests that if someone gets the flu -- gets the vaccine earlier and later gets influenza they will have lessened severity, reduced risk of pneumonia, other complications and deaths, especially in the pediatric age group so I want to be very clear, if you have not been vaccinated, there is still vaccine. It is important to get vaccinated even a vaccine effectiveness of 30% is better than 0%. That theory when you get the flu you're getting live cultures of the flu in there is no live virus in the vaccine so that is impossible. Dr. Jen, thank you. Appreciate it. We turn to the devastating

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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