CDC: U.S. influenza down but hanging on

March 22, 2013 at 9:25 PM
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ATLANTA, March 22 (UPI) -- Influenza is down in all parts of the United States, but it is stubbornly holding steady in some areas, federal health officials say.

The weekly flu report of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta said for the week ending March 17, influenza activity remained elevated in the United States, but instead of the influenza A viruses that dominated during most of the flu season, influenza B viruses were predominant and 72 percent of all viruses reported were influenza B.

For example, in New York state, at the peak of the flu season, there were more than 5,000 laboratory-confirmed cases of influenza a week from all 62 New York counties and double digit decreases in cases weekly. Last week, 48 counties plus New York City reported a total 990 laboratory confirmed cases of influenza -- a 1 percent decrease over last week and the number of cases seemed to have plateaued.

In addition, there were six influenza-associated pediatric deaths reported making the total of influenza-associated pediatric deaths this flu season to 105.

Michigan experienced high influenza-like illness activity and five states experienced moderate influenza-like illness activity: Alabama, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey and Virginia.

New York City, Indiana, Louisiana, Minnesota, Montana, South Dakota and Utah reported low influenza-like illness activity and 38 states reported minimal influenza-like illness.

Widespread influenza activity -- more than 50 percent of the state reporting flu activity -- was reported in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina and Ohio.

Alaska, California, Michigan, Montana, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Utah, and Virginia reported regional influenza activity, 26 states reported local influenza activity and nine states reported regional influenza activity.

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