For the week ending March 22, overall U.S. flu activity was down, but in some states such as New York, flu was up from last week and California reported 342 flu-related deaths in those age 65 and younger.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's weekly flu report said of the 4,977 specimens tested nationally, 11.5 percent were positive for influenza, up from last week -- many for influenza B. In New York, there were 1,527 laboratory confirmed influenza reports -- a 20 percent increase over the previous week.
During most of this year's flu season, the influenza A (H1N1) 2009 pandemic was the main strain making people ill, but late in this year's flu season, more incidence of influenza B was being reported.
Texas and New York City reported moderate influenza-like illness, Minnesota and Utah experienced low influenza-like illness and 47 states experienced minimal influenza-like illness. The California Department of Public Health said at this time last year, California received reports of 47 influenza fatalities in persons age 65 and younger. For the entire 2012-13 flu season 106 deaths were reported in California. In typical flu seasons, the vast majority of flu-related deaths occur in the very young, the sick and in those age 65 and older.
Widespread influenza activity -- more than half of the state's counties reported flu activity -- was reported by Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York. Regional influenza activity was reported by Arizona, Maine, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Utah and Virginia. Local influenza activity and sporadic influenza activity was reported by the rest of the states.
Four influenza-associated pediatric deaths were reported to the CDC but all occurred earlier in the flu season. A total of 79 influenza-associated pediatric deaths were reported nationally for this flu season.
[Centers for disease Control and Prevention] [New York state Department of Health] [California Department of Public Health]