DES MOINES, Iowa - The flu is starting to spread across the United States, and in Iowa, too.
The most recent weekly report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) dated the week ending December 22 shows an increase in flu cases in Iowa, with localized outbreaks.
The number of states reporting regional and widespread flu outbreaks is also growing.
The top 11 states reporting widespread flu outbreak are Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, and North Carolina.
Influenza-A viruses have been dominating the US since the beginning of October, and Influenza-B viruses are also being spread, although the strains this year are not as severe as last flu season, which turned into one of the most deadly flu seasons in decades. More than 80,000 people died.
So far at least 11 children have died from the flu this season. The CDC says parents should seek emergency care for children who experience warning signs like trouble breathing, bluish skin color, not drinking enough fluids, not waking up or not interacting, fever with a rash, being so irritable that the child does not want to be held, or a sudden return of flu-like symptoms after the child seemed to be improving.
Doctors recommend preventing the spread of the flu by getting a flu vaccine, and frequently washing hands.
CLICK HERE for interactive U.S. influenza map from the Centers for Disease Control