No End in Sight for New York Flu Epidemi

January 22 [Tue], 2013, 6:49

The influenza epidemic remains widespread in New York, according to the data released Jan. 18 by the Health Department. For the week ending Jan. 12, the number of patients hospitalized with confirmed influenza was 1,215, a 6 percent increase from the first week of January. One child was reported to have died from the flu, bringing the state's total to three since the flu season began on Oct. 1.

New York State

Thefrom the New York State Department of Health (DoH) shows little sign that the influenza epidemic in the state has peaked. Since the season began, 23,501 New Yorkers have tested positive for one of the flu strains in circulation. Elderly patients make up 21 percent of that total and children under age 5 make up another 17 percent of those testing positive. There were 78 confirmed influenza outbreaks in hospitals and nursing homes for the week and a total of 298 for the year. Half of all patients who were admitted to a hospital for an influenza infection were age 65 or older. The Hudson Valley and Long Island continue to have the highest rates of visits to emergency departments for influenza-like illnesses (ILI).

New York City

New York City's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene also reports influenza case data., and especially under age 5, continue to be the greatest number of patients seen in city emergency departments for an ILI.from emergency departments for an ILI continue to climb and the increase each week has changed little in the last month. In the week ending Jan. 12, 25 percent of all patient specimens tested were positive for influenza. Thehas dropped over the last four weeks and 8 percent of those tests were positive.

Nationally

The Centers for Disease Control report for week 2 of 2012 shows that influenza is, including New York and New York City. The 122 Cities Mortality Reporting System shows that(P&I) topped the epidemic level for the first time this flu season as 8.3 percent of all deaths were due to P&I. The CDC reports 29 pediatric deaths from the flu through Jan. 12, but new fatalities are being reported daily. The latest total, obtained from state and local health department websites, is 38. Those same sites report more than 17,000 hospitalizations for laboratory confirmed flu throughout the nation.

Nebraska, Mississippi and Texas are reporting the nation's highest ILI rates, more than 9 percent. The national rate, for week 2, was 4.6 percent, and 16 states and New York City exceed that figure. In the nation's most populous state, California,was reported as widespread for the first time this week.



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