ATLANTA, Jan. 11 (UPI) -- Influenza activity remained elevated in parts of the United States last week but decreased in other areas, health officials said Friday.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's weekly FluView report said of 12,876 specimens tested, 33 percent were positive for influenza, up slightly for the week ended Jan. 5 from the preceding week's 32 percent.
Two influenza-associated pediatric deaths were reported for a seasonal total of 20 pediatric deaths -- up from 18 the week before.
From Oct. 1 to last Sunday, 3,710 laboratory-confirmed influenza-associated hospitalizations were reported -- a rate of 13.3 per 100,000 population. The most affected group was adults age 65 and older. Among all hospitalizations, 86 percent were associated with influenza A and 13 percent with influenza B. The most commonly reported underlying medical conditions among hospitalized adults were metabolic disorders, cardiovascular disease, obesity and chronic lung disease excluding asthma. Among 55 hospitalized women ages 15 to 44, 10 were pregnant.
Twenty-four states and New York City experienced high influenza-like illness activity -- down from 29 the week before: Alabama, Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia and West Virginia.
Activity levels are based on the percentage of outpatient visits in a state due to influenza-like illness and are compared to the average percent of influenza-like illness visits that occur during spring and fall weeks with little or no influenza virus circulation. Influenza-like illness activity can be local. One city could have high activity but other cities or other parts of the state might have low activity.
Sixteen states experienced moderate influenza-like illness activity: Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Hawaii, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
Five states experienced low influenza-like illness activity: Alaska, Idaho, Nebraska, Nevada and South Dakota. Five states reported minimal influenza-like illness activity: California, Connecticut, Kentucky, Maine and Montana.
Widespread influenza activity -- flu throughout the states -- was reported by 47 states: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
Regional influenza activity was reported by California and Mississippi. The District of Columbia reported local influenza activity while sporadic influenza activity was reported by Hawaii.
As a result of the end of year holidays and elevated influenza activity, some sites may be experiencing longer than normal reporting delays and data in previous weeks are likely to change as additional reports are received, the CDC said.