Flu down nationwide, lingers Mid-Atlantic

March 15, 2013 at 4:29 PM
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ATLANTA, March 15 (UPI) -- Influenza is down nationwide, but it is stubbornly hanging on in the mid-Atlantic states, federal health officials said.

The weekly flu report of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta said for the week ending March 9, influenza activity remained elevated in the United States, but decreased in most areas.

For example, pediatricians in Syracuse, N.Y., told WSYR-TV after a couple of months with very little flu "a remarkable number of children with flu [presented] this week."

Vicki Kistler, director of the Allentown (Pa.) Health Bureau, told The (Allentown) Morning Call the flu was peaking in the region, but noroviruses and other bugs were surging too. To date, 174 people in Pennsylvania have died from flu-related complications, including a 31-year-old nursing student.

Nationally, of the 5,747 specimens tested and reported by laboratories, 14.3 percent were positive for influenza, down from 17.2 percent the previous week.

Twelve pediatric deaths were reported putting the total influenza-related pediatric deaths for this flu season at 90. One death was associated with an influenza A (H3) virus and occurred the week ending Feb. 9, two deaths were associated with influenza A viruses for which the subtype was not determined in the weeks ending Feb. 2 and Feb. 23, while nine were associated with influenza B viruses and occurred during weeks ending Nov. 24, Feb. 16, Feb. 23, March 2 and March 9.

Eight states reported widespread influenza activity; Puerto Rico and 19 states reported regional influenza activity; the District of Columbia and 17 states reported local influenza activity, and six states reported sporadic influenza activity.

Five states and New York City experienced moderate influenza-like illness activity: Maryland, Mississippi, New Jersey, Texas and Virginia.

Twelve states experienced low influenza-like illness activity and the rest of the states reported minimal influenza-like illness.

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