Washington: The US is grappling with a widespread epidemic-like outbreak of flu that has taken as many as 47 states into its grip and claimed over 100 lives across the country.

Health officials said the flu influenza has spread to most of the country with only the fas West Coast still relatively unaffected by it.

"... We are into what would classically be described as a flu epidemic," Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, was quoted as saying by media.

"It's still on the uptick," he said as health experts raised concerns over the worsening of the flu outbreak. From 41 last week, a total of 47 of America's 50 states, have now come under the grip of the flu.

While 27 people have died in Minnesota from flu-related complications, South Carolina and Pennsylvania have reported 22 deaths each this season, 18 have died in Massachusetts while in Indiana flu has claimed 15 lives so far.

In Illinois so far six people are reported dead from flu related issues, Oklahoma and Arkansas have reported eight and seven deaths so far.

This makes it a total of 107 dead so far. Officials said the spread of the flu virus across the United States appeared to have slowed in some areas, though they would not know for weeks whether the cases have peaked.

The only states without widespread activity are California, Hawaii and Mississippi.

"The only area of the country that's still relatively unaffected ... is the far West Coast," although plenty of cases have been reported there, said Joseph Bresee, chief of the Epidemiology and Prevention Branch of the CDC's Influenza Division.

Among those who have died from the flu are 20 people under the age of 18.


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