Flu waning in the South, rising in West

Jan. 25, 2013 at 12:59 PM
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ATLANTA, Jan. 25 (UPI) -- Influenza is waning in the South, Southeast, New England and Midwest but increasing in the Southwest and Northwest, officials say.

The weekly report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the week that ended Saturday, found of 11,984 specimens tested and reported by laboratories, 26.1 percent tested positive for influenza -- down from 29.4 percent the previous week.

Eight influenza-associated pediatric deaths were reported making a total of 37 influenza-associated pediatric deaths for the entire flu season.

Between Oct. 1 and last Saturday, 6,191 laboratory-confirmed influenza-associated hospitalizations were reported -- a rate of 22.2 per 100,000 -- with 50 percent involving adults age 65 and older, the report said.

Among all hospitalizations, 5,403, or 87.3 percent, were associated with influenza A and 739, or 11.9 percent with influenza B. Among hospitalizations with influenza A subtype information, 97.8 percent were attributed to H3N2 and 2.2 percent were attributed to 2009 H1N1.

The most commonly reported underlying medical conditions among hospitalized adults were cardiovascular disease, metabolic disorders, obesity and chronic lung disease -- excluding asthma. The most commonly reported underlying medical conditions in hospitalized children were asthma, neurologic disorders, chronic lung disease and immune suppression, but 43 percent of hospitalized children had no identified underlying medical conditions, the report said.

Twenty-six states and New York City experienced high influenza-like illness activity: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Virginia and West Virginia.

Fourteen states experienced moderate influenza-like illness activity: Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Nine states experienced low influenza-like illness activity: Alaska, Florida, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Montana, New Hampshire, South Carolina, South Dakota and Tennessee. Maine was the only state reporting minimal activity.

Widespread influenza activity -- more than 50 percent of the state reporting flu -- was reported in 47 states. Regional influenza activity was reported by Georgia and Tennessee, while local flu activity was report by Hawaii.

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