EDISON - The flu has reached an epidemic level in New Jersey, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Hospitals and doctors officers across the state are reporting a spike in the number of flu patients in recent weeks. The medical director at Jersey City Medical Center says this year's flu seems to be worse than others.

There have been at least 100 deaths from flu so far across the nation. Of those victims, 18 have been children.

Health officials warn that your best defense against the flu is to get the flu shot. Also, simply washing hands with soap and water helps prevent the spread of the sickness.

If you happen to catch the flu, health officials advise staying home from work or school to keep it from spreading.