Flu season strikes U.S.

Associated Press
Here Damien Dancy puts masks on his children Damaya, 3, left, and Damien, 7, on Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013 at Sentara Princess Anne Hospital in Virginia Beach, Va.   Hospitals in Hampton Roads are urging patients and visitors to wear a mask at their facilities to help stop the spread of the flu. The recommendation was issued Wednesday by more than two dozen medical centers. In a joint statement, the hospitals said the recommendation applies to hospitals, urgent care centers and branch clinics, among others. (AP Photo/The Virginian-Pilot, Stephen M. Katz)

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Flu season in the U.S. has struck early and, in many places, hard. From the Rocky Mountains to New England, hospitals are swamped with people with flu symptoms. Boston declared a public health emergency, with the city's hospitals counting about 1,500 emergency room visits since December by people with flu-like symptoms.

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