Federal officials say influenza-like-illness activity has dropped in the East and risen sharply in the West a little more than halfway through the flu season.
The weekly flu report released by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta Friday said eight influenza-associated pediatric deaths were reported -- six for the week end Jan. 26 and two occurred during the week ending Jan. 5.
A total of 45 influenza-associated pediatric deaths were reported during the this flu season -- one in New York City, one each in Arkansas, Arizona, Hawaii, Indiana, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Washington and Wisconsin. Three influenza-associated pediatric deaths were reported in New York, four each in Michigan and New Jersey, five each in Colorado, Florida and nine in Texas.
Thirty-four pediatric deaths were reported during the 2011-12 flu season, 122 were reported in the 2010-11 season and 282 were reported during the H1N1 2009-10 flu season.
More than 50 percent of those hospitalized with flu symptoms were age 65 and older. The CDC and some states do not keep records on adult influenza deaths but the proportion of deaths attributed to pneumonia and influenza was above the epidemic threshold, the CDC said.
Of 10,581 specimens tested and reported by laboratories, 2,701 -- 25.5 percent -- tested positive for influenza, down from 26.1 percent the previous week.
Twenty-four states and New York City, down from 26 states and New York City the previous week, experienced high influenza-like illness activity. Thirteen states and the District of Columbia experienced moderate influenza-like illness activity.
Kentucky, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin experienced low influenza-like illness activity. Alaska, Florida, Georgia, Maine, Montana, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, South Carolina and Tennessee experienced minimal influenza-like illness activity.
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