High U.S. flu activity down from 10 states to seven

Feb. 7, 2014 at 10:20 PM
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ATLANTA, Feb. 7 (UPI) -- For the week ending Feb. 1, seven states experienced high influenza-like illness, a decrease from the 10 states last week, U.S. officials say.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's weekly flu report said the three influenza-associated pediatric deaths reported occurred during the first, third and fourth week of January. A total of 40 influenza-associated pediatric deaths were reported for the 2013/2014 season at this time.

Of the 8,282 specimens tested and reported by collaborating laboratories, 19.6 percent were positive for influenza, while the proportion of deaths attributed to pneumonia and influenza was above the epidemic threshold.

When the proportion of the deaths due to pneumonia and influenza is above the epidemic threshold it means that the number of these deaths occurring are in excess of the number that is expected, the CDC said.

Alabama, Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas and Virginia experienced high influenza-like illness; while California, Delaware, Hawaii, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee and Vermont reported moderate influenza-like illness.

Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, New York City, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Utah and Washington reported low influenza-like illness.

Seventeen states experienced minimal influenza-like illness: Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Twenty-nine states reported widespread geographic influenza activity, a decrease from the 38 states that reported widespread activity in the previous week.

Widespread influenza activity -- more than half of a state's counties reporting influenza activity -- was reported by Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia and West Virginia.

Regional influenza activity was reported by Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Montana, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming, while Mississippi reported local influenza activity.

Sporadic influenza activity was reported by Guam, Puerto Rico and Hawaii.

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