ATLANTA, March 21 (UPI) —
U.S. flu activity was down last week, but Texas still reported moderate flu activity and California reported more than 330 deaths, officials say.
Dr. Ron Chapman, director of the California Department of Public Health and state health officer, said the number of confirmed influenza-related deaths in persons age 65 and younger was 332 but there were still more deaths under investigation.
By this time last year, California received reports of 47 influenza fatalities in persons age 65 and younger. For the entire 2012-13 flu season 106 deaths were reported in California, Chapman said.
Nationally, of 5,650 specimens tested and reported during week 8.8 percent were positive for influenza, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s weekly flu report said.
Seven influenza-associated pediatric deaths were reported to the CDC last week, but all occurred before the week ending March 15. Seventy-five influenza-associated pediatric deaths were reported since flu season began last fall.
Texas reported moderate influenza-like illness, New York City, Kansas and Michigan reported low influenza-like illness and 47 states reported minimal influenza-like illness.
Widespread influenza activity — more than half of the state reported flu activity — was reported by Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York.
Regional influenza activity was reported by Arizona, Maine, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont and Virginia.
Local influenza activity was reported by the District of Columbia, Arkansas, California, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.
Sporadic influenza activity was reported by Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Nevada, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.