The flu season is three times worse than this time last year and it continues to go from bad to worse all across the country.

The outbreak is now widespread hitting 46 states, including Georgia.

Dr. Andi Shane, Medical Director of Hospital Epidemiology at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, said between the third week of December and January cases of Influenza A doubled from 12 percent to 28 percent at CHOA locations. These numbers come from children who had flu-like symptoms and later tested positive.

"This emphasizes the need for families to prevent flu infections by getting immunized, washing hands, covering coughs and sneezes, and remaining away from others when ill," Dr. Shane said.

According to the State Department of Public Health, the common flu strain of Influenza A is especially rough for children under 5-years-old, those older than 65 or who have other medical issues.

It's becoming more important for parents to get professional medical care when symptoms escalate beyond a runny nose, sore throat, headaches, fever, chills, and fatigue.

CHOA released a chart to show when it's time to take your children to see the doctor with flu symptoms. When you start seeing things like neck stiffness, labored breathing, severe muscle pain or red urine, it's time to see a doctor.