(KCEN) -- The virus is spreading fast across most of the country.
Hospitals and clinics are suddenly packed and those who haven't gotten the flu yet are scrambling to get flu shots.
This is an emergency room in Brooklyn but it could be just about anywhere in the country today.
And patients are not alone.
Patient Jerome Dukins says, "I'm nauseous, burning up, you know, I feel so weak."
New York State has already seen more than 19,000 cases of the flu nearly five times the cases seen at this time last year.
Officials at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control say the flu is widespread right now in 47 states.
Children have been especially hard hit with 20 deaths reported.
"I was just in the hospital with Aaron, now I'm here with Chloe," says mother Ashley Carrasquillo.
A typical flu season lasts about three months meaning this isn't even the halfway mark.
And medical experts say there's still time to get the flu shot but it doesn't provide protection for about two weeks.
Dr. William Schaffner of Vanderbilt University says, "It does prevent the complications, pneumonia, hospitalizations and death."
From Washington State to Boston, people are heeding the advice and getting the flu shot.
According to Mari Bentley MD, Chief Medical Officer at the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center, "We've given about 400 flu shots already this morning."
The last line of defense in an epic flu season that's just still going strong.
Anyone older than six-months can get a flu shot.