A particularly deadly flu virus has reportedly become widespread in 46 states across the country, according to the recent data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The CDC reported the severe flu season has already resulted in the deaths of at least 13 children since it began in October.
"This is a feature of this year’s flu -- not only did it start early, but it seemed to occur all over the country more or less simultaneously," Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University, told ABC News .
According to data released last week from the CDC, the deadly virus has yet to reach "epidemic" proportions, but it could soon. A flu outbreak can become an epidemic when the number of deaths resulting from the virus exceeds a percentage set by the CDC using data from previous years. However, this week's number of deaths has reportedly placed the country at just 0.2 percent below that threshold.
State health officials in Ohio said nearly 2,100 people have been hospitalized because of the flu, which is a dramatic increase from the 369 hospitalizations around this time during the 2016-2017 flu season. The state hasn't reportedly experienced a flu season this terrible since the 2014-2015 season when there were roughly 2,800 flu-related deaths.
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