SOURCE - RESTRICTION: AP Television - AP Clients Only

Location - Date: NEW YORK - Jan. 11

1. Various of flu vaccine

2. SOUNDBITE: Dr. William Bateman, Gouverneur Clinic

"The public hospital system's emergency rooms are 10-20 percent higher in volume now largely due to flu. The beds are very full largely due to excess flu. In the city we definitely have a problem."

3. Various of patient check-up

4. SOUNDBITE: Kate Allen, 16-years-old, patient

"The past three-days I've been feeling really horrible and I had the flu shot. And I woke up on Thursday and I just felt like I could hardly move. I was really achey."

5. Various of patient check-up

6.SOUNDBITE: Dr. Neal Shipley, Urgent Care Manhattan

"if you've not gotten your flu shot and you start to come down with flu-like symptoms, headache, cough, fever, terrible body aches, the emergency department already quite over-crowded is probably the worst place you can go. You'll wait around for many hours to be told you probably have the flu and you should go home and rest. There are certain exceptions to that, the very young, the very old people who are having trouble breathing, people with chronic lung disease who can get much more sick from influenza, develop pneumonia, should definitely go to the hospital but your average healthy young person with flu-like symptoms should go to their local doctor or to an urgent care center like this and try and see the doctor within the first 48 hours of illness. That's the window of effectiveness for the prescription anti-viral medicines that help combat the flu symptoms.

7. Patient check-up

8. Doctor's office.


Flu is now widespread in all but three states as the nation grapples with an earlier-than-normal season. It is hitting the city of New York hard.

At least 10 residents of long-term care facilities like nursing homes have died in New York City's five boroughs. City nursing homes are seeing an epidemic noting that the very young, as well as people who are already ill or weak before contracting the flu are more vulnerable.

The flu season in the U.S. got under way a month early, in December, driven by a strain that tends to make people sicker.

That is leading to worries that it might be a bad season, following one of the mildest flu seasons in recent memory.

The number of hard-hit areas has declined, but flu is now widespread in all but three states. Experts say the flu season started earlier than usual and is driven by a strain that tends to make people sicker.