Although the weekly average of flu activity in the U.S. has declined, the level of flu activity remains higher than normal for this time of year, said a top official for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. There are now 43 states reporting widespread flu activity, compared with 46 a week ago, said Rear Adm. Anne Schuchat, director of the agency's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. “Even with a decrease, it is still higher than the peak in many years,” Schuchat said. “But nothing is typical about this season. Our expectation is that the next few weeks will be busy ones,” Schuchat said. “We may see mixing of strains.” Schuchat said that while activity has slightly declined overall, it has increased in certain areas—such as Hawaii and Maine, for example. In the latest week in which data were available, there were 171 pediatric deaths from the flu, including 15 deaths that were confirmed to have been from the H1N1 strain, which has been commonly referred to as swine flu. Meanwhile, 54.1 million doses of the vaccine have now been made available, which is an increase of 11 million from the previous week.
Late News: Flu activity remains higher than normal this year: CDC
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