Flu activity declined last week

Jan 15, 2004 (CIDRAP News) – Influenza continued to decline last week as only 20 states reported widespread cases, down from 38 states the previous week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said today.

States with widespread flu activity the week of Jan 4 through 10 included California, Texas, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Indiana, Mississippi, and most states in the East, from Georgia north through Vermont. New York City also had widespread cases, while 24 states reported regional activity and five had only local or sporadic activity, the CDC said in the Jan 16 issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

The flu appeared to be generating less work for physicians as well. The CDC said only 2.8% of visits to 1,000 sentinel healthcare providers were for flu-like illnesses, down from 5.5% the previous week, though still above the baseline level of 2.5%. The proportion dropped in all regions.

However, pneumonia and influenza accounted for 10.2% of all deaths reported in 122 cities, which remained above the epidemic threshold of 8.1% for the week, the CDC said.

The peak of flu activity so far this season occurred the week that ended Dec 20, when 45 states reported widespread cases. CDC officials noted last week that in some years the flu surges a second time later in the season.

CDC. Update: influenza activity—United States, January 4-10, 2004. MMWR 2004;53(1):11-12 [Full text]

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