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Flu outbreak remains high, but waning, CDC says

February 01, 2013|By Michael Muskal
  • Claude Flanagan receives a flu shot from Geneva Hill, a licensed vocational nurse, during a free flu vaccine clinic this week in Sacramento. This season's outbreak, though still strong, appears to be waning, the CDC says.
Claude Flanagan receives a flu shot from Geneva Hill, a licensed vocational… (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated…)

This season’s outbreak of flu continues to be high -- especially among the elderly and the young -- but appears to be waning, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Friday.

Flu-like illnesses appeared to be falling in the East but rising in the Western states. Forty-five children have died, the CDC reported.

This year’s flu season began earlier and appeared harsher than in past years. For the week ending Jan. 26, the CDC said, 42 states reported widespread geographic influenza activity while seven reported regional activity.

During that period, 24 states and New York City reported high levels of flu activity. Those states were Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

Thirteen states and the District of Columbia were reporting moderate flu activity; four states had low activity and nine states reported minimal activity, the CDC said.

The number of children who have died from the flu increased by eight during the week, the CDC reported. There is no system for reporting adult deaths from flu.

There are currently three main flu strains circulating nationwide, with H3N2 the predominant one.

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michael.muskal@latimes.com

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