U.S. flu season may end in several weeks

Feb. 8, 2013 at 3:38 PM
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ATLANTA, Feb. 8 (UPI) -- The U.S. flu season, which began earlier than usual, will end earlier than usual, federal officials said.

The weekly flu report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta for the week ending Feb. 2, said the proportion of deaths attributed to pneumonia and influenza was above the epidemic threshold and 14 influenza-associated pediatric deaths were reported but flu season is waning in the East, although it is still high in several states west of the Mississippi.

However, not all 14 influenza-associated pediatric deaths occurred the week of Feb. 2 -- some dated to the week ending Dec. 22, the report said.

The CDC said there were 59 influenza-associated pediatric deaths this flu season. Thirty-four pediatric deaths were reported during the 2011-12 flu season, 122 were reported in the 2010-11 season and 282 were reported during the H1N1 2009-10 flu season.

The report said of the 10,132 specimens tested and reported by laboratories, 23.3 were positive for influenza, down from 25.5 percent the previous week.

Nineteen states and New York City experienced high influenza-like illness activity: Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia and Wyoming.

Twelve states experienced moderate influenza-like illness activity: Alabama, California, Connecticut, Idaho, Indiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

Thirteen states experienced low influenza-like illness activity: Alaska, Georgia, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee and Washington.

Six states experienced minimal influenza-like illness activity: Florida, Kentucky, Maine, Montana, New Hampshire and South Carolina.

Widespread influenza activity -- more than 50 percent of the state reporting flu -- was reported Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Kentucky, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Regional influenza activity was reported by Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.

Georgia and Hawaii reported local influenza activity, while Delaware reported sporadic influenza activity.

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