CDC: Fewer States Seeing Widespread Flu Activity

ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- Only 32 states are currently reporting widespread H1N1 flu activity in the United States, down from 48 states three weeks ago, federal health officials said Monday.

According to data posted Monday on the Web site of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, most of the Midwest, a few states in the Southeast, Washington state and Hawaii are experiencing somewhat of a decline in H1N1 flu cases, reporting only "regional" flu activity.

The CDC also said that in the week ending November 20, 35 more children died, of which 27 had laboratory confirmed H1N1. Two-thirds of the pediatric deaths linked to H1N1 have occurred in children with underlying illnesses such as asthma and neurologic disorders, such as cerebral palsy.

Children and young adults up to age 24 are one of the groups at high risk for severe complications of the H1N1 flu. Pregnant women, people caring for children under the age of 6 months, health care workers and adults under the age of 65 with chronic illness also are considered at high risk.

Health officials continue to emphasize that just because flu activity seems to be waning a bit in some areas, it doesn't mean the numbers of cases won't pick up again as they have in previous pandemics.

At this point, the CDC says 99 percent of circulating flu virus continues to be H1N1. More vaccine continues to be made available. As of Monday, 66.8 million total doses were available for states to request.

Health officials insist the vaccine is the best protection against the flu.

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