CDC Reports Flu Activity Falls in the East but Rises Sharply in the West

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According to this week’s FluView Report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), influenza-like-illness activity falls in the East but rises sharply in the West.

Overall, during week 4 (Jan. 20-26, 2013), influenza activity remained elevated in the United States, but decreased in some areas. Here are the highlights:

- Viral Surveillance: Of 10,581 specimens tested and reported by collaborating laboratories, 2,701 (25.5 percent) were positive for influenza.

- Pneumonia and Influenza Mortality: The proportion of deaths attributed to pneumonia and influenza was above the epidemic threshold.

- Influenza-Associated Pediatric Deaths: Eight pediatric deaths were reported.

- Influenza-Associated Hospitalizations: A cumulative rate for the season of 25.9 laboratory-confirmed influenza-associated hospitalizations per 100,000 population was reported. Of all hospitalizations, more than 50 percent were among adults 65 years and older.

- Outpatient Illness Surveillance: The proportion of outpatient visits for influenza-like illness (ILI) was 4.2 percent; this is above the national baseline of 2.2 percent. All 10 regions reported ILI above region-specific baseline levels. Twenty-four states and New York City experienced high ILI activity; the District of Columbia and 13 states experienced moderate activity; four states experienced low activity; and nine states experienced minimal activity.

- Geographic Spread of Influenza: Forty-two states reported widespread geographic influenza activity; seven states reported regional activity; the District of Columbia and one state reported local activity; Guam reported sporadic influenza activity, and Puerto Rico and theU.S. Virgin Islands did not report.

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