The CDC says the flu epidemic is widening, and we’re not even at peak season yet. Americans are suffering from the flu in epidemic numbers across 37 states.

Mid-January saw three children die from influenza. Ten states from Alabama and Georgia in the south to Kansas and Oklahoma in the midwest to New Jersey and New York in the east, all reporting high level flu activity.

Doctors advising a flu shot as soon as possible. The vaccine takes up to two weeks to become fully effective. It protects against 95% of flu strains this season. This year, a shot is recommended, not the nasal spray mist.

Hospitals in Washington state report they are running short of beds as the flu rapidly spreads during the height of influenza season, which is now till March. Once the flu takes hold, doctor say you should stay home and get plenty of bed rest.

So far this season, the flu has caused 19 deaths. It is most dangerous to the very young and very old.