Health & Medical Cold,Fever,Flu,Cough

Flu Stretches Hospitals, Drug Supplies Nationwide

Flu Stretches Hospitals, Drug Supplies Nationwide Jan. 10, 2013 -- The early flu season has turned severe in some parts of the country, stretchinghealth care providers and drug supplies.

According to the latest numbers from the CDC, there’s now widespread flu activity in 41 states. New York City and 29 states are reporting a high number of cases of flu-like illness.

So far this flu season, 2,257 people have been hospitalized with laboratory-confirmed flu. Eighteen children have died.

The number of deaths attributed to both pneumonia and the flu is still below epidemic levels.

How much worse will it get? When will it be over? No one can say.

“Seasonal flu is a big deal -- always. It’s always going to be a problem. This year may be a very big problem,” says William Hanage, PhD, an associate professor of epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston. “We don’t know yet.”

Most flu seasons last about 11 to 12 weeks. “We’re at about week five,” says Curtis Allen, a press officer at the CDC. “Even that 11 to 12 weeks is not a hard and fast number. The saying in the influenza world is that if you’ve seen one flu season, you’ve seen one flu season. Each one is different.”

Is It a Cold or Is It the Flu?

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