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Flu Levels Starting to Fall, CDC Says
Date:2/11/2013

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Feb. 8 (HealthDay News) -- The flu seems to be easing its grip on the United States, federal health officials reported Friday.

While influenza activity remained elevated, it decreased in most areas of the country during the week ending Feb. 2, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported.

According to the CDC:

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

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

Fifty-nine children have died from the flu this season, with 14 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 59 pediatric deaths so far compare to 153 deaths reported during the 2003-04 season, which was another
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