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CDC: Flu widespread in 49 states, 10 more children have died due to the virus

Biologist Rebecca Gillespie holds a vial of flu-fighting antibodies at the Vaccine Research Center at the National Institutes of Health, Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2017, in Bethesda, Md. Despite 100 years of science, the flu virus too often beats our best defenses because it constantly mutates. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

LYNCHBURG, Va. (WSET) This year's flu season is one of the most severe in recent years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Influenza activity has increased and is now widespread in 49 states, excluding just Hawaii.

Flu is a contagious, viral illness that causes mild to severe symptoms that can lead to death if not properly treated.

The CDC reported that there were 14,401 new confirmed cases during the week ending in January 13 making this season's total a whopping 74,562, but these numbers don't include all people have the flu, it's the number of confirmed cases of people who have gone to the doctor.

10 more children have died during the week ending January 13, making this season's total 30.

RELATED | Alabama third-grader dies from flu

The CDC said it estimates deaths based on pneumonia and flu for older people and based on National Center for Health statistics, 8.2-percent of all deaths during the week of January 13 were due to pneumonia and the flu.

This is an above normal rate.

For the week of January 13, the CDC said there were 31.5 hospitalizations for every 100,000 people.

Lynnette Brammer, head of the CDC's Domestic Flu Surveillance team, said there is still a lot of flu activity to come and people who haven't been vaccinated should get the vaccine because it's not uncommon to have a second wave of the flu.

Elderly, children under the age of two, pregnant women, and people with chronic health problems are at the highest risk to get the flu and should talk to doctors about antiviral medications.

To prevent pneumonia, the CDC recommends those over the age of 65 and children under the age of two, and those with medical conditions or health behaviors to get a pneumococcal vaccination.

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