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CDC: Flu-like illnesses driven by three U.S. regions, but numbers remain low

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ATLANTA For the week ended Feb. 6, visits to doctors for influenza-like illness nationally increased slightly over the week before but remained low overall, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on Feb. 14.

The national increase in ILI was driven by 3-of-10 U.S. regions, the agency stated — regions 4, 7, and 9.

Region 4 is comprised of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee; region 7 is comprised of Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska; and region 9 is comprised of Arizona, California, Hawaii and Nevada.

Very few 2009 H1N1 laboratory-confirmed hospitalizations were reported by states during the week ended Feb. 6 for most age groups.

No states reported widespread influenza activity (an increase in ILI activity in more than half of the state’s areas). Six states reported regional influenza activity (increased ILI activity in more than one but less than half of the state’s areas), including Alabama, Georgia, Maine, New Jersey, New Mexico and South Carolina.

Almost all of the influenza viruses identified so far continue to be 2009 H1N1 influenza A viruses. These viruses remain similar to the virus chosen for the 2009 H1N1 vaccine, and remain susceptible to the antiviral drugs oseltamivir and zanamivir with rare exception.

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