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What’s left of flu is mostly influenza B

ATLANTA, March 29 (UPI) — U.S. influenza activity continues to decline across key flu indicators but influenza viruses still circulate with influenza B predominating, officials say.

Officials at the Centers for the Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta said, for the week ending March 23, the proportion of people seeing a healthcare provider for influenza-like illness decreased and is now less than the national baseline.

Baseline influenza activity is the level influenza activity remains throughout the summer and the rest of the seasons. Usually, there is a 6-12 week period in winter when influenza activity rises above the baseline threshold — flu season.

No states reported high influenza-like illness activity. Alabama reported moderate influenza-like illness activity while the remaining 49 states and New York City reported low or minimal influenza-like illness activity.

Five influenza-associated pediatric deaths were reported to CDC but four occurred before the week ending March 23. The total of influenza-associated pediatric deaths this flu season was 110.

Widespread influenza activity — more than 50 percent of the state reporting flu activity — was reported by Connecticut, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, New York and North Carolina. Puerto Rico, Alaska, Kentucky, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Virginia. The District of Columbia and 23 states reported local influenza activity, while 11 states reported sporadic influenza activity.

Copyright 2013 United Press International, Inc. (UPI).

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