(CBS Local) -- Flu-like illnesses are on the rise and have been elevated for seven weeks across all regions of the country, according to CDC's latest FluView report.
The report estimates that flu has caused at least 4.6 million flu illnesses, 39,000 hospitalizations and 2,100 deaths since the season began in September. That's 300 more deaths than the previous week.
The CDC says there have been 22 pediatric flu deaths so far this season, including three more children last week. Nearly a quarter of reported pediatric deaths this season have been in children younger than six months old, who are too young to be vaccinated
The most recently released CDC flu activity map looks a bit different than just a few weeks ago.
25 states, including Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, Texas, and Virginia, are now experiencing high levels of influenza-like illness (ILI) activity, compared to 20 states the previous week.
New York City and the District of Columbia are also experiencing high levels of ILI activity.
Most of the cases reported are caused by influenza B/Victoria viruses, which is also unusual, according to the CDC.
The latest CDC numbers were released Friday.
The CDC says the best way to protect yourself and your family from flu is with a flu vaccine. To find a vaccine near you, visit http://vaccinefinder.org.
You are also encouraged to practice the following flu prevention tips:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing
- Wash your hands often
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
- Practice other good health habits such as disinfecting frequently touched surfaces, getting plenty of sleep and drinking plenty of fluids.
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