Influenza killed 52 in California last week

Feb. 2, 2014 at 12:40 AM
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ATLANTA, Feb. 2 (UPI) -- Influenza dropped in some U.S. states in late January, but there were nine pediatric death nationwide and 52 deaths in California, officials say.

Dr. Ron Chapman, director of the California Department of Public Health and state health officer, confirmed influenza-related deaths in the state increased by 52 in the week ending Jan. 25 to reach a total of 147 confirmed deaths for the season. Four of the 147 were pediatric deaths. There were an additional 44 deaths under investigation, but not yet confirmed, Chapman said.

The total number of deaths in California for the entire 2012-2013 influenza season was 106, Chapman said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's weekly flu report said of 9,514 specimens tested and reported by the U.S. World Health Organization and National Respiratory and Enteric Virus Surveillance System collaborating laboratories, the percentage of respiratory specimens testing positive for influenza viruses dropped to 21.1 percent.

Ten states experienced high influenza-like illness, a decrease from the 13 states last week: Arkansas, California, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.

Twelve states and New York City experienced moderate influenza-like illness: Arizona, Delaware, Hawaii, Indiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Utah, Vermont, Washington and Wisconsin.

Alabama, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota and West Virginia reported low influenza-like illness.

Alaska, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Rhode Island and Wyoming reported minimal influenza-like illness.

Thirty-eight states reported widespread geographic influenza activity -- more than half of a state's counties reporting influenza activity -- a decrease from 41 states the previous week.

Regional influenza activity was reported by Alabama, Florida, Georgia, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas and Wyoming.

The District of Columbia and Mississippi reported local influenza activity, while Hawaii reported sporadic influenza activity, the CDC said.

Topics: Rhode Island
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