Flu season among the most mild, CDC says

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted June 11, 2012

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Just about four months after the 2011-12 influenza season began, it has ended, making it one of the nation’s most mild flu seasons on record, said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The season started in early February and lasted through May. In the past 29 years, there was only one period — 1987-88 — when flu season started this late, the CDC said. Influenza season can begin as early as October and end as late as May.

During the 2011-12 period, the percentage of patient visits for influenza-like illness exceeded baseline figures for only one week, which occurred in March. In past seasons, visits for influenza-like illness remained above baseline for eight weeks to 20 weeks, the CDC said (link).

Pediatric deaths were down significantly during the 2011-12 season. As of May 25, there were 26 deaths reported in children younger than 18 who tested positive for influenza. That is the lowest number of pediatric deaths since the CDC began collecting such data in 2004.

Pediatric deaths peaked in the 2009-10 season, during the influenza A(H1N1) pandemic, when 282 children died, the CDC said.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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