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Flu activity remains at high levels across the United States: CDC
Flu activity declined slightly but remained at high levels across the U.S. during the week ended February 18th, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) said in its latest report.
Most of the U.S. states witnessed widespread flu-related illness during the week under consideration, with flu cases reported in almost all counties. The season disease hit the center of the U.S. and over toward the east harder than any other part of the country.
Epidemiologist Lynnette Brammer, from CDC’s National Center for Immunization & Respiratory Diseases, said, “The center of the country and over toward the east is being hit harder right now, for sure. Not to say they couldn't have a second peak, but they look like they're a little farther along in their outbreak than the rest of the country.”
A total of 9,444 flu-related hospitalizations have thus far been reported, and the second-highest percentage of Americans hospitalized has been in the age group of 50-64 years.
The rate of hospitalization, this year, among those 65 and older is nearly 155 per 100,000 individuals; around 33 per 100,000 adults in the age group of 50 to 64; and nearly 21 per 100,000 kids up to age of 4 years.
Flu is a common viral infection that can be deadly in rare cases. Common symptoms include runny nose, congestion, muscle aches, cough, headaches, fever and fatigue.