Tuesday, Dec 1st, 2009
Visits to U.S. doctors for influenza-like illnesses declined for a fourth straight week as swine flu retreated in 11 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Physician visits related to flu fell “sharply” in the week ended Nov. 21, extending a decline that followed a four- week increase, the Atlanta-based agency said on its Web site today. Thirty-two states reported widespread influenza activity, down from 43 the week before.
Hospitalizations, deaths and doctor visits are still higher than expected at this time of year, the CDC said. Thirty-five flu-related deaths in children under age 18 were reported during the week, bringing the total to 234 since April of this year.
“We wouldn’t be surprised to see another rise in activity later this year or early next year when schools are back in session after the Christmas break,” said Tom Skinner, a CDC spokesman, in a telephone interview today. “There’s still a lot of flu out there.”
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