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Flu Season Continues to Wind Down
Date:3/23/2013

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, March 22 (HealthDay News) -- The flu season, which got off to an early and virulent start, continues to wind down, U.S. health officials reported Friday.

Although still elevated, flu activity declined in most parts of the United States during the week ending March 16, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported.

According to the CDC:

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

This flu season has been especially tough on older people, with slightly more than 50 percent of hospitalizations involving those 65 years and older.

One hundred and five children have died from the flu this season, with six deaths reported last week, the CDC said. Of the children who died, 90 percent had not received a flu vaccination, according to The Associated Press.

There is no system to report adult deaths from the 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
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