H-HEALTHY LIVING

Jan 11, 2013 1:45 PM by NBC News

Flu activity reaches epidemic levels

Influenza has reached epidemic levels in the U.S., although some regions of the country are seeing fewer cases.

The latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention find 47 states are experiencing widespread flu activity; however, visits to the doctor for flu-like illness are down, particularly in the southeast.

New research also found the flu vaccine is 60% effective against the strains circulating this year.

While this means some people who get vaccinated will still get the flu, experts say the illness likely won't be as severe, and antiviral drugs like Tamiflu are working against the flu, helping shorten the amount of time people feel sick.

So far this year, 128 of the 135 million doses of flu vaccine have been distributed in the U.S. The CDC has received reports of flu shot providers running out of vaccine.

California has reported just regional influenza activity so far this season.

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