Flu continues to decline in Massachusetts and elsewhere
The latest data appear to confirm that the seasonal flu is waning in Massachusetts and several other states, according to a weekly report issued Friday by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Massachusetts had low levels of flu activity during the week that ended January 19.
Doctors have reported treating fewer patients with flu-like symptoms -- sore throat, fever, body aches, occasional vomiting -- for the third week in a row. About 2.3 percent of doctor visits in the state were related to flu-like illnesses, which is down slightly from a week ago and about half the percentage from the beginning of the month, according to data from the state Department of Public Health.
New York City, Connecticut, and many Western states are still experiencing high levels of flu activity.
So far, 37 flu-related deaths have occurred in children nationwide for the current season, including one in Massachusetts. That’s far less than the 282 pediatric deaths reported during the 2009-2010 swine flu pandemic, but already more than the 34 deaths reported in children from last year’s flu.
The CDC doesn’t keep track of adult deaths from the flu.
More than 11,000 patients have tested positive for the flu in Massachusetts this season, according to the latest statistics from mid-January. About 20 people have died from the flu so far in the state.Deborah Kotz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @debkotz2.