In Massachusetts, flu activity dipped slightly this past week, according to a state Department of Public Health update. Does this mean cases have peaked? Or is this just a lull? We'll report back as more information emerges. For now, here's the short wire dispatch via The Washington Post:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday said flu was widespread in 47 states last week, up from 41 the week before. But many cases may be mild. The only states without widespread flu are California, Mississippi and Hawaii.
The hardest hit states dropped to 24 from 29.
So far, 20 children have died from the flu. There is no running tally of adult deaths, but the CDC estimates that the flu kills about 24,000 people in an average year.
Experts say it’s too early to say if this is a bad year.
From the CDC's weekly FluView:
--Viral Surveillance: Of 12,876 specimens tested and reported by U.S. World Health Organization (WHO) and National Respiratory and Enteric Virus Surveillance System (NREVSS) collaborating laboratories, 4,222 (32.8%) were positive for influenza.
--Pneumonia and Influenza Mortality: The proportion of deaths attributed to pneumonia and influenza (P&I) was slightly above the epidemic threshold.
--Influenza-Associated Pediatric Deaths: Two influenza-associated pediatric deaths were reported. One was associated with an influenza A (H3) virus and one was associated with an influenza A virus for which the subtype was not determined.
--Outpatient Illness Surveillance: The proportion of outpatient visits for influenza-like illness (ILI) was 4.3%; above the national baseline of 2.2%. Nine of 10 regions reported ILI above region-specific baseline levels. Twenty-four states and New York City experienced high ILI activity; 16 states experienced moderate ILI activity; 5 states experienced low ILI activity; 5 states experienced minimal ILI activity, and the District of Columbia had insufficient data.
--Geographic Spread of Influenza: Forty-seven states reported widespread geographic influenza activity; 2 states reported regional activity; the District of Columbia reported local activity; 1 state reported sporadic activity; Guam reported no influenza activity, and Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands did not report.
This program aired on January 11, 2013. The audio for this program is not available.