The nation’s flu activity continues to rise, with a jump last week in the number of states reporting widespread disease, marking the fifth week of elevated activity, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said today in its latest update.

Twenty three states are now experiencing widespread flu, up from 16 reported the week before. Most of those states are in the south, west, and east.

However, one flu-tracking marker—percentage of outpatient visits for flulike illness—fell slightly from 3.5% to 3.2% last week, which the CDC said could reflect fewer routine healthcare visits during Thanksgiving week, a pattern seen in previous seasons. However, the level remains above the national baseline, and all parts of the country are at or above their specific regional baselines for flulike illness clinic visits.

Flu B still predominant, but H1N1 rising

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