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A snapshot of influenza activity in all 50 states
Here is a snapshot of flu activity in all 50 states and the District of Columbia:
Alabama: Like many states, Alabama is having an earlier and busier flu season than a year ago _ though not as bad as the 2009 pandemic. The state Department of Public Health doesn’t tally statewide flu cases but emergency departments have been busy treating patients with flu symptoms. Hospitals have been able to handle the load without using tents or other unusual measures.
Alaska: Flu in Alaska is widespread and occurring throughout the state, though not at the high levels being reported in some other states. There is no vaccine shortage and no flu deaths have been reported in children.
Arizona: Flu cases are increasing in Arizona but authorities aren’t calling it a worse-than-usual season so far. Plenty of vaccine remains. Like many states, Arizona only tallies flu deaths in children; none have been reported so far this season.
Arkansas: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday that Arkansas is among a few states in the southeast in which flu cases spread less rapidly in the past week, but a state Health Department spokesman said it’s too early to say cases have peaked there. Nine people have died from the flu so far in Arkansas, including one child,
California: Flu activity is on the rise in California, but the increase is not unexpected, state health officials said Friday. The nation’s most populous state typically sees a surge in flu cases in late December or early January, peaking in February or March. Four flu-related deaths have been reported this year. Officials said there is no vaccine shortage and urged residents to get vaccinated.
Colorado: At least two children have died from flu-related complications in Colorado. Several providers have reported temporary vaccine shortages, and one large health group, Kaiser Permanente, stopped offering flu shots this week but expected to resume vaccinations with new shipments expected by this weekend.
Connecticut: There were 1,680 confirmed cases of flu in Connecticut as of Jan. 5, an increase over the past two years. Three flu deaths have occurred, all in people older than 65. Vaccine supplies are adequate.
Delaware: Flu activity is widespread in Delaware, and the number of cases is higher than at this time in recent years. No flu deaths have been reported and vaccine supplies are adequate.
District of Columbia: Washington, D.C. has seen a big spike in flu cases this year _ 310 since the season began on Sept. 30, an increase of more than 300 percent over the entire 2011-2012 flu season. There have been no reported deaths. Health officials are still urging residents to get vaccinated, and there have been no reports of shortages.
Florida: Most Florida counties are reporting mild or moderate flu activity. There has been an increase in flu-like illness treated in emergency rooms and doctors’ offices, and two children have died. Vaccine demand is up but flu shots are readily available.
Georgia: State authorities said Friday that flu has reached epidemic levels in Georgia. Although activity has declined a bit, it’s uncertain if cases have peaked. Two adult, flu-related deaths, have been reported.
Hawaii: Flu in Hawaii is at a low, steady level normal for the state this time of year, and there is plenty of vaccine available. There have been no pediatric deaths or uptick in adult deaths related to the flu.
Idaho: In Idaho, eight older adults have died from flu-related illness and doctors are seeing an increase in patients with flu-like symptoms. “It’s definitely shaping up to be a more serious flu season than we’ve seen in the past several years,” said spokeswoman Nikki Forbing-Orr of Idaho’s Department of Health and Welfare. There have been no runs on flu vaccine and the state’s supply is in good shape.
Illinois: Intensive care unit hospitalizations and flu-related deaths surpass previous years and continue to climb, with 27 adult deaths so far. Eight Chicago-area hospitals turned away ambulances earlier this week because of a surge of patients with flu-like symptoms but that situation eased. Chicago’s health department encouraged vaccinations and held a flu chat Friday on Twitter; Mayor Rahm Emanuel tweeted a photo of himself holding a sign that said, “Any advice for people who shake a ton of hands? (hash)FluChicago.”
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