ST. LOUIS (KMOV) -- There are now widespread cases of influenza across a majority of the country, according to the latest numbers from the Centers for Disease Control.
Locally, the numbers show the flu has hit Illinois especially hard, while there are not as many cases in Missouri.
This is one of the earliest and most severe flu seasons to hit the country in at least a decade.
A majority of cases around the St. Louis-area are Influenza B, which doctors say is the easiest to protect with the flu vaccine.
“I’ve seen a lot of kids admitted to the hospital this fall, and now into the winter,” said Dr. Ken Haller with the Cardinal Glennon Medical Center. “And most of those kids did not have to end up in the hospital. If they had been vaccinated, they could have stayed home, wouldn’t have gotten sick.”
A 17-year-old from Texas is the latest to die from the flu.
He contracted the flu and then a staph infection on holiday vacation with his family.