Flu Activity Slowing Down, Says CDC

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released data Friday that should give families across the country a bit of encouragement–the number of new cases of seasonal influenza, or flu, decreased in early February in most areas of the U.S.  More from CNN.com:

The most recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, released Friday, concludes that “influenza activity remained elevated in the United States, but decreased in most areas” in the week of January 27 to February 2, for which the latest information is available.

In the latest report, 38 states reported widespread influenza activity, down from 42 the week before.

Although the proportion of outpatient visits for influenza-like illness, 3.6%, is still above the national baseline of 2.2%, it is lower than the previous week’s estimate of 4.2%.

The disease is still claiming lives, however.

“The proportion of deaths attributed to pneumonia and influenza (P&I) was above the epidemic threshold,” the report said.

The number of pediatric deaths from influenza rose by 14, for a total of 59 this season. While that is more than the 34 pediatric deaths for all of last year’s season, it is much lower than the 153 pediatric deaths in the 2003 to 2004 season, which saw a similar H3N2 virus responsible for a lot of illness, for example. Adult deaths due to flu are not tracked by the CDC.

Image: Girl blowing nose, via Shutterstock

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