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CDC: Flu season has peaked, cases in decline

Nearly 3,200 flu-positive specimens were reported to the CDC during the week ending Feb. 7.

By Doug G Ware
CDC: Flu season has peaked, cases in decline
The CDC said that this year's flu vaccine was less than 25 percent effective in preventing the disease. File Photo by Terry Schmitt/UPI | License Photo

ATLANTA, Feb. 13 (UPI) -- This winter's flu season has peaked and is now in decline, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a weekly update Friday.

After peaking during the last week of December, cases of influenza have steadily dropped for each of the first five weeks of 2015, the report said. Nearly 3,200 specimens tested positive during week five, which ended Feb. 7, bringing the total for 2014-15 to 87,540.

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The data is compiled from reported cases to the CDC by the World Health Organization and National Respiratory and Enteric Virus Surveillance System (NREVSS).

Only 11 pediatric deaths associated with influenza were reported last week -- bringing the season total to 80. More than a dozen states in the Southwest and Northeast experienced high influenza-like illness (ILI) for the week. States in the Northwest and Great Lakes region reported minimal ILI activity.

Hardest hit by the flu are those 65 and older and children under age 4. On Friday, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported the state's fifth pediatric flu death of the season.

The current flu season has been particularly nasty for some states. The Denver Post reported Friday that Colorado has recorded a new all-time record for flu-related hospitalizations.

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Last month, the CDC said this year's flu vaccine has been only minimally effective -- as it has lessened the chances a vaccinated person will get the flu by only 23 percent.

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