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Flu Infections Continue to Decline
Date:3/9/2013

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, March 8 (HealthDay News) -- The flu season may not be over, but the worst of it seems to be.

Flu activity, although still elevated, declined in most parts of the United States during the week ending March 2, U.S. health officials reported Friday.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • Four states experienced moderate flu activity: Illinois, Michigan, Vermont and Virginia.
  • Thirteen states experienced low fIu activity: Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Texas and Utah. New York City also experienced low activity.
  • Thirty-three states experienced minimal activity: Alaska, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

The flu continued to hit older people hard, with slightly more than 50 percent of hospitalizations involving those 65 years and older.

Eighty-seven children have died from the flu this season, with six deaths reported last week, the CDC said.

There is no system to report adult deaths from flu, but the agency said the number of deaths remains higher than the threshold used to declare a flu epidemic.

The predominant strain of circulating flu this season continues to be influenza A H3N2, which typically poses bigger problems for young children and the elderly, according to the CDC. But predominant strains can vary across states and regions of the country, the agency noted, with more B strains appearing last week.

The 87 pediatric deaths so far compare to 153 deaths reported during the 2003-04 season, whi
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