Flu may have peaked in Massachusetts

Jan. 21, 2013 at 1:31 AM
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BOSTON, Jan. 21 (UPI) -- The flu may have peaked in Massachusetts but state health officials say 1,991 patients tested positive for flu just last week and many people are still sick.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health said the latest data showed a sharp decline for the second week in a row in the number of patients showing up in doctors' offices and community health centers with coughs, sore throats and fever, The Boston Globe reported.

In addition, the portion of visits for flu-like illnesses fell to 2.4 percent last week, barely half the percentage two weeks earlier, state officials said.

More than 11,000 Massachusetts patients tested positive for the flu this season, with the hardest-hit region northeast of Boston, which reported more than 2,100 confirmed cases.

Boston Mayor Thomas Menino declared a public health emergency earlier in the month after 700 cases of influenza were confirmed, four of them fatal.

State health officials said the decrease in cases was encouraging but flu is often unpredictable and it was too soon to know if the flu season peaked in Massachusetts.

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