44 States Report Widespread Flu

    Four-year-old Gabriella Diaz sits as registered nurse Charlene Luxcin, right, administers a flu shot at the Whittier Street Health Center in Boston, Mass., Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013. Boston declared a public health emergency Wednesday as the city tried to deal with a harsh flu season and the state reported 18 flu-related deaths so far. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

    Charles Krupa/AP,Charles Krupa

    Start washing your hands and sneezing into your elbows, folks. The national flu epidemic has spread to three more states, bringing the total number of states reporting widespread sickness to 44. On Wednesday, Boston declared a public health epidemic after18 were killed and 700 sickened by the virus. Cases were at just 70 this time last year. The Center for Disease Control reports hospital patients seeking treatment for the flu has doubled in the past month. Officials urge vaccinations for everyone over six months.

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