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Flu Levels Continue to Fall, CDC Says
Date:2/15/2013

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Flu activity continued to decrease in many areas of the United States during the week ending Feb. 9, federal health officials reported Friday.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • Eleven states and New York City experienced high activity (Alabama, California, Idaho, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, Texas, Utah and Vermont).
  • Ten states experienced moderate activity (Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Minnesota, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota and Virginia).
  • Thirteen states and the District of Columbia experienced low activity (Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Washington and Wyoming).
  • Sixteen states experienced minimal activity (Alaska, Connecticut, Delaware, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia and Wisconsin).

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

Sixty-four children have died from the flu this season, with five deaths reported last week, the CDC said.

There's 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.

The 64 pediatric deaths so far compare to 153 deaths reported during the 2003-04 season, which was another H3N2 season, the agency noted.

An estimated 36,000 people die from th
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