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      CDC to doctors: Gear up for rough flu season

      COLUMBIA (WACH)- The Centers for Disease Control predicts high number of illnesses for Swine Flu this winter.

      The virus is already showing up early in some young children and the elderly.

      In a note to doctors and other healthcare providers, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) said multiple hospitalizations associated with the virus have been reported across the U.S. The virus, known to clinicians as pH1N1, usually emerges in late winter.

      Influenza contributes to thousands of hospitalizations and deaths each year, the report said. CDC said so far cases of influenza have ranged from mild to severe in late 2013, but the say the cases could get worse as the season moves forward.

      The CDC is working with local doctors and hospitals to make sure each case of the flu is reported.

      The key recommendation of the CDC is that everyone get a flu vaccine.

      If you come down with the flu, you should seek medical help immediately.

      Children 6-years- of age and younger and senior citizens are the age groups most vulnerable to the flu.