BOSTON — U.S. Sen. Edward Markey is calling on the country to spend $1 billion to develop a universal flu vaccine.

The Massachusetts Democrat said the deadly flu season shows the need for a better vaccine.

Markey called for the increased spending during a press conference Friday at Massachusetts General Hospital, which has seen 10 deaths and 150 hospitalizations related to the flu this season.

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report released Friday confirmed that the flu season continues to intensify.

One of every 14 visits to doctors and clinics were for symptoms of the flu, according to a CDC report covering the week ending Jan. 27. That’s the highest level since the swine flu pandemic in 2009.

Forty-two states reported high patient traffic for the flu, up from 39.