Flu activity declines but continues in U.S.

U.S. Health officials recently announced that influenza activity is continuing in the Pacific Northwest, but is in decline throughout much of the United States.

Officials from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said, however, that the overall incidence of flu-like symptoms was up for the week ending in April 21 after spending several weeks declining, according to

Of the nearly 3,000 specimens tested by the U.S. World Health Organization and National Respiratory and Enteric Virus Surveillance System, 22.2 percent were found positive for influenza, up 17.5 percent from the previous week. According to the CDC, this means that flu activity still continues in some areas, but is not necessarily increasing overall.

In the Pacific Northwest region, encompassing Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington, the number of flu-positive samples reached 39 percent. Alaska, California, Montana and New York reported widespread influenza activity.

Doctor visits for flu-like symptoms fell from 1.5 percent to 1.3 percent, well below the 2.5 percent baseline. States in the Pacific Northwest, however, still reported doctor visits above the baseline, according to CIDRAP News.

Deaths from influenza also dropped, staying well below the baseline for an epidemic. Three pediatric flu deaths were recorded, bringing the total for the entire season to 18.

Surveillance by the World Health Organization recorded flu activity peaking in the most temperate areas of the Northern Hemisphere. Overall, the organization concluded, the United States has seen flu activity drop for the last four weeks in a row, while Canada has seen declines over the last three weeks.