The Centers for Disease Control say the flu is widespread in 39 states, and North Carolina is among them.

High Country Press reports Appalachian Regional Healthcare System reports there have been 33 cases of flu treated at Watauga Medical Center, and 29 at Cannon Memorial Hospital from October 1 to December 31.

U.S. Government health officials say there have already been at least 4.6 million illnesses, more than 39,000 hospitalizations and 2,100 deaths from the flu nationwide. In North Carolina, there have been ten flu-related deaths this season.

Medical experts urge flu vaccinations for everyone 6 months and older who haven’t already received the shot, and recommend injections over nasal sprays because of higher effectiveness. They also urge the use of face masks and to use hand sanitizers liberally to help prevent the flu from spreading.