Flu activity low, CDC says in first report of season
Flu season is upon us again, so the U.S. Centers for Disease Control has resumed publishing its weekly FluView Reports, which track influenza activity around the country.
The report for the week ending Oct. 6, released Friday, showed low levels of flu activity. Of more than 2,800 lab specimens tested, 75 were positive (39 for strains of influenza A and 36 for strains of influenza B). No pediatric deaths from flu were reported, and numbers of flu-related pneumonia deaths were also low. No influenza activity was reported at all in Guam and 18 states. California reported sporadic cases.
There were no new infections with the H3N2v swine flu, which has sickened 306 people in 10 states since July 12 -- many of them kids who came in contact with sick pigs at agricultural fairs (see related items).
This year, FluView incorporates new online tools to allow users to visualize flu data and make comparisons of activity between flu seasons, regions of the country and so on. The report also pointed readers to the Google Flu Trends page, which also offers flu activity estimates.
Seasonal flu vaccinations are widely available nationwide, the agency added in a statement, reiterating its recommendation that all people 6 months and older get vaccinated. So far 112 million doses have been distributed and more are on the way.