Flu season still going strong

Flu Season Peaks

The number of flu cases reported during the week leading up to Saturday was less than the half number reported at the peak.

Nationally, public health officials last week said the worst of the flu season is over, although the level of transmission remains high.

In addition, Simpson said five percent of all emergency room visits in Maricopa County are flu-related.

According to the data, there were 497 positive lab tests for influenza, a decrease of more than 20 percent week over week.

Three other Arkansas children or teenagers have also died from the flu this season, including two others who were age 5-18 and one child younger than 5. Since October, 23,324 people have been hospitalized for influenza-associated complications.

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But health officials in Oregon, Minnesota, Texas, New Hampshire, Hawaii and the District of Columbia report that they're seeing only regional or local flu activity.

The season apparently peaked in early February and has been fading since, health officials said last week.

Those numbers, though, are only for people who went to a doctor to get tested. Deaths from the flu or pneumonia are going down, too. "We strongly encourage everyone to continue practicing the important preventive measures we have been promoting including staying home when you're sick, calling your doctor at the first signs of flu-like illness, washing your hands frequently, and covering coughs and sneezes".

Nineteen more cases were reported last week, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health, raising the total to 169 deaths during the current influenza season which began in October. In a bad season, there are as many as 56,000 deaths connected to the flu.

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