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11 States Close Schools as Deadly Flu Spreads


At least 11 states have closed some schools in a desperate effort to stop the deadly flu from spreading.

The epidemic is so severe in Oklahoma, 20 districts shut their doors over the past week to disinfect their facilities.

The Centers for Disease Control reports at least 37 children have died from the virulent flu strain, known as H3N2, and it may get worse in the coming days.

Dr. Dan Jernigan, director of the CDC's Influenza Division, predicted the child death toll could come close to 150 by the end of March.

Children and the elderly are not the only ones threatened by the H3N2 strain. Baby boomers – between 50 and 64 – have also been hit hard.   

"Baby boomers have higher rates [of hospitalization] than their grandchildren right now," Jernigan told reporters by phone Friday.

In addition, 39 states are still reporting high flu activity, making it the worst outbreak in nearly a decade.

Some experts believe the death toll could reach 50,000, Bloomberg reported.

Sen. Charles Shumer, D-NY, called on federal health officials to dispatch a flu surveillance team to New York as the number of cases increase.

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