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Seasonal Flu Activity Low in the United States So Far

Most activity reported from the southeast region

THURSDAY, Dec. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Reports of influenza virus in the Unites States have been low for the first part of the influenza season, according to a summary published in the Dec. 9 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report.

Lynnette Brammer, M.P.H., of the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues collected data on 24,027 respiratory specimens from collaborating U.S. laboratories to provide a summary and update of U.S. influenza activity since Oct. 2, 2011.

The researchers found 266 specimens (1.1 percent) positive for influenza, of which 191 (71.8 percent) were influenza A and 75 (28.2 percent) were influenza B. Of the influenza A viruses, the vast majority, 90.8 percent, were H3 viruses. Thirty states in the 10 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services regions reported influenza virus; most reports came from the southeastern states.

"During Oct. 2 to Nov. 26, 2011, influenza activity remained low in the United States. Thus far, influenza A viruses have predominated, and the majority are antigenically related to the 2011-12 influenza vaccine strains for the Northern Hemisphere," the authors write.

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