BROOKLYN - The Center for Disease Control is reporting widespread flu cases in several states including New York.

Texas has been the hardest hit state, reporting at least five deaths from the H1N1 strain known as swine flu.

H1N1 first made headlines in 2009 causing a pandemic that the CDC says infected 52 million people and may have killed hundreds of thousands worldwide.

Health officials say avoiding the flu starts with simple steps including washing your hands and getting a flu shot, which are still available.

Those that may be sick are encouraged to stay at home to avoid spreading viruses.

The CDC says it expects the flu season to peak in February.