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CDC, state health department stats suggest flu in decline
Morning Call - 3/14/2018
March 14--More than 9,000 Americans have died as a result of influenza since the current flu season began in October, according to the Centers for Disease Control, but statistics suggest that season is coming to an end.
As of Feb. 17, the CDC reports 9,406 deaths as a result of the flu, but the number of deaths per week has dropped each week since January 20. The federal agency reports that the number of reported cases influenza-like illness dropped from 4.9 percent to 3.7 percent of hospital visits. That number peaked in early February at 7.5 percent.
According to the state department of health, 19 more Pennsylvanians died last week, bringing the total of influenza-related deaths in the state to 188 during the current flu season. For statistical purposes, the flu season runs from Oct. 1 to May 19.
The department of health has also lowered its influenza activity meter from widespread -- meaning at least half of the regions in the state are reporting increases in influenza cases -- to regional -- meaning at least two regions, but less than half of the regions are reporting an increase in influenza cases.
According to the CDC, 34 states and Puerto Rico are still considered areas with widespread flu activity.
According to the state, Northampton County has reported 4,724 cases of the flu this season and Lehigh County has reported 3,049 cases.
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