CDC: This year's flu season a bad year for pediatric deaths

May 11, 2013 at 12:18 AM
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ATLANTA, May 11 (UPI) -- U.S. influenza activity remained low, but a total of 138 influenza-associated pediatric deaths were reported for this year's flu season, health officials say.

The weekly flu report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta said for the week ending May 4, of 3,048 specimens tested by laboratories, 4.1 percent were positive for influenza and the proportion of deaths attributed to pneumonia and influenza was below the epidemic threshold.

One pediatric death was reported, but the 138 influenza-associated pediatric deaths for this year's flu season was the second highest since the CDC first started reporting the deaths in 2004. Thirty-four pediatric deaths were reported during the 2011-12 flu season, 122 in the 2010-11 flu season and 282 during the H1N1 2009-10 flu season.

Forty-nine states and New York City experienced minimal influenza-like illness activity, while South Dakota has insufficient data.

Connecticut, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts and New York reported regional flu activity, while Alaska, Ohio and Pennsylvania reported local influenza activity and 37 states reported sporadic influenza activity.

Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Mississippi and Utah reported no influenza activity, the report said.

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