EAST MEADOW - Health officials say this flu season is shaping up to be a nasty one, with the virus already widespread in 41 states.

It's still early in the flu season, but 18 infant deaths have been reported across the nation, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Here on Long Island, doctors say they've noticed increased influenza activity.

Dr. Janice Verley, an infectious disease specialist at Nassau University Medical Center, says the current flu strain is not new, but that everyone 6 months or older should get vaccinated.        

To best keep the virus at bay, Verley suggests frequent hand washing and wiping down any shared office items, such as phones, computer keyboards and remotes.