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article imageCDC says 25 states in U.S. now reporting widespread flu

By Karen Graham     Jan 5, 2014 in Health
The flu season has started with a bang, and the number of states reporting seasonal flu activity spread from 10 to 25 states in just one week, according to the CDC's latest report on Friday. The flu season usually peaks in January or February.
The CDC says widespread flu activity has been reported in: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington state and Wyoming.
Weekly flu activity  week ending December 28  2013. 
Produced by the Centers for Disease Control an...
Weekly flu activity, week ending December 28, 2013. Produced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
CDC
By using the term, "widespread," this means that more than 50 percent of the regions or counties in a state are reporting the flu. This has nothing to do with the "severity" of the flu cases. Dr. Michael Jhung, a CDC medical officer told CNN on Friday that, so far, "it has been a typical influenza season, if I can use that word."
But at least 20 states, mainly in the southeast, have experienced a high proportion of people visiting health care facilities with flu-like illnesses. And only thing unusual about this flu season is the strain of the flu virus being seen.
The flu virus is the H1N1 virus, commonly called the swine flu virus, and is the virus responsible for the 2009 pandemic. Since 2009, the virus has become very well established in the human population and is not called the swine flu any longer, but is referred to as a human seasonal virus. The H1N1 seasonal virus is so common now, it was added to the this years vaccine, said Jhung.
The CDC reported that last year, flu vaccinations prevented 6.6 million illnesses, 3.2 million doctor visits and around 79,000 hospitalizations. The CDC also reports that almost 50 percent of the population has not been vaccinated this flu season. This is of some concern for the CDC, because of the number of secondary illnesses that can affect many who have contracted the flu.
Last year was considered a "severe" flu season, and the age group most affected were seniors, with many coming down with bacterial pneumonia and other respiratory illnesses. This year, the group being targeted seems to be young adults.
More about Flu, H1n1, widespread, severity, outpatient visits
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