Flu activity is still high, but it continues to drop in most regions, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said today in its weekly report, which covers data ending Dec 31.
Most markers declined, including the percentage of outpatient visits for flulike illness, which dropped from 6.1% to 5.4%. Also, the percentage of respiratory samples at clinical labs testing positive for influenza declined from 19.8% to 15.0%.
Thirty-nine states reported high (27) or very high (12) flu activity, another indicator of clinic visits for flulike illness. The numbers are down from 44 states reporting high (19) or very high (25) activity the previous week.
Testing at public health labs showed a bump in the proportion of 2009 H1N1 viruses, which increased from 16.9% to 29.8%.
Hospitalization, however, leveled off after dropping for 3 weeks in a row.
The CDC reported 13 more pediatric flu deaths, lifting the season's total to 74. The deaths occurred between the end of October and Dec 24. Of the 13 deaths, 12 were linked to influenza A and 1 was due to influenza B. Of the six subtyped influenza A viruses, five were H3N2 and one was 2009 H1N1.