Nightly News   |  January 10, 2014

Flu Now Widespread in 35 States

The flu is spreading, and is now considered widespread in two-thirds of the states, up sharply from a week ago.

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>>> back here with health news, the cdc said today the flu is now widespread in two thirds of the united states , up sharply from just a week ago at this time. now there is also a shortage of the main drug to treat it. while it is winter, this is flu season . it is worth paying attention to this growing threat. we get the latest on it tonight from nbc's janet shamblian.

>> reporter: he was surprised when his child came down with the flu, the family had a flu shot . the doctor prescribed tamiflu for all five of them but it turned out to be hard to find.

>> turned out some pharmacies didn't have it.

>> reporter: there is a nationwide shortage of the liquid tamiflu used for younger patients, right in the middle of the season. the cdc says the flu is spreading going from 25 states to 35 states.

>> we have been seeing higher volumes in our emergency center. certainly children with flu-like symptoms.

>> reporter: texas is hard hit, 13-year-old lydia died from the virus.

>> it kind of brings it to home, making sure you have your children have shots for it.

>> reporter: in california, a flu tent outside this san jose hospital, the emergency room overrun with patients. in michigan, these parents are heeding the advice that it is not too late to get a flu shot .

>> doctors in hospitals like texas children can track the flu in the number of patients they're seeing. but this one, a flu near you shows where the virus is peaking all over the country.

>> reporter: symptoms include fever, chills, coughs, body aches. sean mccoy says that kennedy had all of them but she is better now.

>> it was very frightening, she was young, they're more susceptible to these things.

>> reporter: a mean season for flu, with february's peak season still to come. houston.