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CDC: U.S. influenza season almost over

ATLANTA, May 24 (UPI) — Health officials said Friday 146 influenza-associated pediatric deaths were reported during the U.S. flu season, which is nearly over.

The weekly flu report of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta said for the week that ended last Saturday, the proportion of out-patient visits for influenza-like illness was 0.9 percent — far less than the national baseline of 2.2 percent. Baseline influenza activity is the level influenza activity that remains throughout the year once flu season ends. Usually, there is a six- to 12-week period in winter when influenza activity rises above the baseline threshold.

Seven influenza-associated pediatric deaths were reported to CDC for the week that ended Saturday, but all deaths occurred earlier in the flu season. However, the 146 influenza-associated pediatric deaths for this year’s flu season was the second-highest since the CDC first started reporting the deaths in 2004.

Thirty-four pediatric deaths were reported during the 2011-12 flu season, 122 in the 2010-11 flu season and 282 during the H1N1 2009-10 flu season.

Massachusetts reported local influenza activity, 31 states reported sporadic influenza activity and Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont and West Virginia reported no influenza activity.

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

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