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The flu is widespread in 49 states. Photo: Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times via Getty

The spread of flu is widespread in every state except Hawaii, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in its first weekly update of 2018. Seven kids died from the flu in the first week of the year, and flu-related hospitalizations haven't been this high since the 2014-15 flu season.

The bottom line: Public health officials are urging people to get a flu shot, as many people often contract the disease in January and February.

What we're hearing: "We went for a day at Providence St. Joseph Health where we didn't have a hospital bed available" due in large part to the flu, said Rod Hochman, CEO of the 50-hospital system.

Go deeper

16 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Minority Mitch still setting Senate agenda

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Chuck Schumer may be majority leader, yet in many ways, Mitch McConnell is still running the Senate show — and his counterpart is about done with it.

Why it matters: McConnell rolled over Democrats unapologetically, and kept tight control over his fellow Republicans, while in the majority. But he's showing equal skill as minority leader, using political jiujitsu to convert a perceived weakness into strength.

Schumer rattles reconciliation saber

More than an aisle separates Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer, seen in the Senate Chamber after the Capitol siege. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Chuck Schumer is expected to telegraph, as soon as tonight, that he will use his political muscle to pass some of his party’s priorities — like President Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus package.

Why it matters: While the Senate majority leader wants to work with Republicans on key legislation, advisers say, he will make clear that using the simple majority vote inherent in the budget reconciliation process is one of the big sticks at his disposal.