By Michael Oleaga / m.oleaga@latinospost.com (staff@latinospost.com) | First Posted: Jan 14, 2013 08:11 PM EST

The CDC is reporting that flu cases have spiked across the U.S., with 18 children dead and thousands of cases being reported in multiple states nationwide. (Photo : CDC)

With the latest flu season already considered an epidemic, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has in place methods on what people should due during this time.

As Latinos Post reported, 47 states have said to have "widespread" flu reports. The number went to 47 states after infecting only 41 states the previous week.

According to CDC, what people should do during the flu season included getting the yearly flu vaccine.

"Getting vaccinated is the first and most important step in protecting against this serious disease," says the CDC. "Vaccination efforts should continue as long as influenza viruses are circulating."

Five other steps are included in preparation of the flu season, including:

- If you get sick with flu-like illness, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.)

- Practice proper cough and sneeze etiquette to prevent the spread of germs.

- Wash your hands regularly.

- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth

- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill.

The five steps above, according to the CDC, should not be considered as substitute to the flu vaccine, but rather help prevent the spread of viruses similar to the flu.

The flu season is expected to peak soon, and it could be peaking at this moment. The CDC noted the peak times is "unpredictable" and can vary season to season but most commonly occurred in January or February.

For symptoms of the flu, click here.

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