MADISON, Wis. -

The national flu outbreak may be leveling off, but cases are still on the rise in some areas.

Forty-seven states have reported flu activity, including Wisconsin, where the flu season started especially early. The country's west coast has seen increased cases.

Thomas Haupt, the state’s surveillance coordinator, said up to 50 people are hospitalized daily across Wisconsin.

“You can’t even walk, so I knew I had to go to the ER,” Michele Raymond, a woman recovering from the flu, said. “The shortness of breath is the scariest part. You can’t catch it, no matter what you do.”

Experts say the flu shot is still the best defense against the sickness, as it protects from several strains and is 62 percent effective.