ATLANTA, March 8 (UPI) -- Influenza activity remained elevated in the United States, but decreased in most areas especially in the South, federal health officials said Friday.
The weekly flu report of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta said for the week ending March 2 of the 6,259 specimens tested and reported by laboratories, 17.2 percent were positive for influenza, down from the previous week.
Six influenza-associated pediatric deaths were reported for the week -- for a total 87 pediatric deaths reported for this year's flu season. Thirty-four pediatric deaths were reported during the 2011-12 flu season, 122 in the 2010-11 flu season and 282 during the H1N1 2009-10 flu season.
Four states experienced moderate influenza-like illness activity: Illinois, Michigan, Vermont and Virginia.
Thirteen states and New York City experienced low influenza-like illness activity: Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Texas and Utah.
The remaining 33 states experienced minimal influenza-like illness activity.
Widespread influenza activity -- more than 50 percent of the state reporting flu activity -- was reported by: Connecticut, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Virginia.
Puerto Rico and 24 states reported regional influenza activity: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.
The District of Columbia and thirteen states reported local influenza activity and Delaware, Hawaii, Indiana and Rhode Island reported sporadic influenza activity.