Flu Virus Hits U.S. Hard

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Tallahassee, FL-January 12, 2013

This year's strain of the influenza virus is packing a powerful punch.
So far, the CDC reports 20 children have died from the virus nationwide. It's kept thousands home, sick from work while sending thousands of others from Boston to Atlanta to the emergency room.

"(I'm) pretty concerned. I have some family friends who have been to the hospital already. It's kind of risky, I think," says Brandon Kaller who was in line to get a flu shot.

From December through January 5, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the number of states reporting widespread cases of the flu has increased from 41 to 47.

Worry over the influenza virus is sending many to their local pharmacies to get vaccinated. Kaller is getting his flu shot for the first time.

"I hear this year the strain is very bad and could be very dangerous if you don't do so and take some precautions," says Kaller.

One of the main precautions the CDC is recommending is the flu vaccine.

However, the effectiveness of the vaccine depends on several factors including the person's age and health and if the the strain they're vaccinated against is a match for the ones out there.

According to the CDC, data from the 2010-2011 flu season showed the vaccine to be about 60 percent effective for all age groups.

CDC also recommends washing your hands and avoiding those who are already sick to cut-down on your chances of getting the flu.

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