Flu numbers level off nationwide - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

Flu numbers level off nationwide

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(KYTX) - The flu continues to infect the country, leaving many people wondering what hit them.

The numbers are down in some parts of the country but not here in Texas.

Twenty-six states are still showing high levels of flu activity.

The Centers for Disease Control says flu-like illness activity levels are down in the south and southeast, but Texas is still reporting lots of cases.

"You're just so weak, and every part of your body hurts and aches. It's really a terrible thing," says 71-year-old Joe Gleba, who spent a week in the hospital getting treated for the flu.

His home was destroyed in superstorm Sandy and he was living in a hotel, when the bug slammed him.

"It feels like every sickness you've ever had in your life, and you put it together, and that's what you have now," says Gleba.

"Always begins pretty quickly. You're not sick, and all of a sudden, a few hours later, you're pretty sick," says Dr. Mike McCrady with Trinity Mother Frances.

Dr. McCrady says the flu hits fast, especially the elderly and kids.

The Centers for Disease Control now says 47 states are reporting widespread flu activity, down from 48 last week.

Cases are still on the rise along the west coast, and more than half of the country is still getting hit hard.

"This is one of those years where the flu tends to move a little faster. So when it comes to a community, it seems to spread a little faster, affect more people," says Dr. McCrady.

Emergency rooms across the country, like St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital, continue to be packed with patients.

Seniors account for about 90% of all flu related deaths, and that's why they're being warned to be extra careful.

Experts recommend people 65 and older go straight to the doctor if they're suffering flu symptoms, even if they've had a flu shot.

Nationally, eight more children died from the flu last week, bringing the season total to 37.

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