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A snapshot of influenza activity in all 50 states
Question of the Day
Texas: Flu cases have been reported in more than half of Texas, and several county health departments say this season is worse than in past years. In the last week of December, nearly 12 percent of doctor visits were for flu-like symptoms, almost double the amount for that week in 2011. The number of cases dropped last week. In the Dallas area, many parents say their doctors don’t have the pediatric vaccine so they’ve sought the shots at the county health department. At least six Texas children have died from flu-related illness since last fall.
Utah: Utah officials say flu cases spiked last week but dipped this week, and call it an early and active season. No deaths have been reported. Utah’s vaccine supply is holding steady with no reports of shortages.
Vermont: Flu cases appear to be on the rise in Vermont. Three adults have died, all in December. Vermont Health Department officials say flu rates are higher than other years but the number of deaths does not appear out of the ordinary. A total of 10 people died from the flu last year; seven in 2011 and none in 2010.
Virginia: Virginia hit widespread influenza activity in December, a month or two early, which hasn’t happened since the 2003-2004 season. Outbreaks have been reported in schools and nursing homes in all regions of the state but no children have died.
Washington: Flu has spread to more than half the communities in Washington state; that’s not unusual but it appears to be increasing and authorities say is could be worse than recent mild seasons. There have been five lab-confirmed flu deaths in adults and one in a 12-year-old boy.
West Virginia. State public health officials say fewer than 1,400 cases of flu have been confirmed and flu-like symptoms are widespread. Public Health Commissioner Marian Swinker said Friday that more than 15,000 people have told doctors they were ill last month, with nearly 4,400 reporting they were sick so far this month. There have been no flu-related deaths in the state.
Wisconsin: Flu-related hospitalizations in Wisconsin total more than 1,300, versus 389 for all of last year. One child has died. State officials believe they have an ample supply of vaccine and no shortages. In Milwaukee, hospital emergency department visits have tripled over the past few weeks due to patients with flu-like symptoms and ambulances were being diverted elsewhere, a city Health Department spokeswoman said Friday.
Wyoming: Flu activity is high in Wyoming. One county ran out of vaccine last week and the distributor won’t have any more flu vaccine this season. Supplies are available from many doctors’ offices and other providers, and thousands of people have already been vaccinated. There have been no reported deaths.
State health officials generally only keep track of children’s flu deaths. Often the cause is pneumonia or related to frailty or other health problems so it is hard to draw conclusions about a flu season from state reports.
Compiled by AP Medical Writer Lindsey Tanner with reports from AP bureaus in all states.
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