Flu reported in 32 states, responsible for death of 15 children

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ATLANTA, GA – It’s official. We’re now travelin’ through flu country.

Even though Old Man Winter has only been visiting since Dec. 21, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the flu is now widespread through 72 percent of the states.

For those keeping score at home, that’s 36 states reporting the bug, with Texas being one of them.

The flu has turned fatal in a lot of cases.

The CDC says 15 kids have died since the start of flu season on Sept. 28.  Seven percent of all deaths, for all reasons, for all people can be pinned on the flu during the week ending Dec. 20.

“If you think someone is sick, or even if you don’t, things like shaking hands with people, you should always wash your hands thoroughly after that. Or if someone is sneezing, try to avoid them. And in particular, avoid contact with the face,” said Dr. John Higgins of UTHealth.

The CDC says it’s still not too late to get a flu shot, and recommends the vaccination for everyone, including the little critters starting at six months.

But if you’ve heard this year’s vaccination does not work, well, that’s partly right.

The CDC says this year’s flu strain mutated in ways that make the vaccine less effective than what was hoped.

In other words, this year’s shot in the arm may have turned out to be a shot in the dark.